Throughout the world the most popular Easter symbol is the lamb. The reference to lamb in Christianity goes back to the book of Genesis, When Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son.
In past centuries it was considered a lucky omen to meet a lamb, especially at Easter time. In the 7th century the Benedictine monks wrote a prayer for the blessing of lambs.
A few hundred years later the pope adopted it and a whole roasted lamb became the feature of the Pope's Easter Dinner, and has been ever since.
While sheep meat only accounts for 6% of the world's meat consumption now, it is the principal meat in regions of North Africa, the Middle East, India, and parts of Europe.
The European Union is the largest lamb consumer and number one importer of lamb; 99% of the lamb imported originates from Australia and New Zealand. In Australia the Leg of Lamb Roast is considered the national dish.
Mongolia, Turkmenistan, New Zealand, Iceland and Greece are the countries where the biggest eaters of sheep and goats live. An average Mongolian eats nearly 50 kg of sheep and goat meat a year, according to Faostat.
Central Europeans are on the other end of the scale hardly eating more than 0.5 kg a year per capita.