Every year, children look forward to Easter since legend has it, a long eared, cute, white rabbit comes to deliver beautiful baskets full of treats, toys, candy….and even lays colorful eggs for children to find!
The Easter tradition of the egg hunt even comes from the Easter Bunny, or Easter Rabbit too! It’s been a long time since this popular symbol associated with the Holiday has been around. But really, Easter is a religious Holiday, so…have you ever wondered how exactly this cute, fluffy creature became a symbol of Easter?
There’s actually a lot of history behind the story of the egg laying rabbit! It all started, as with most things, with pagan traditions.
Obviously, the bible has no mention of any kind of bunny or rabbit giving eggs to children on the day of Jesus’ Resurrection. One of the theories of its existence is that it stems from an ancient pagan tradition that started the celebration of Spring, the festival of Eostre, which honored the goddess of fertility and Spring. The rabbit was the symbol for the goddess since, of course, rabbits have very high reproduction rates!
In America and some other parts of the world, the Easter Bunny was introduced in the 1700s by German immigrants in Pennsylvania. The Germans had a tradition of the Osterhase, a rabbit that would lay colorful eggs to children that were good during the year. This way, kids would make nests so that the rabbits would come, and would even leave carrots out for them if they got hungry! Sort of like a Santa Claus in Spring!
Eventually, the custom spread all over America, and the rabbits started bringing more than just eggs…chocolates, treats, and toys!
The eggs are also a symbol of fertility in pagan traditions, which is why the rabbits lay eggs even if they are mammals. Fertility, rebirth, new life, all of these are symbols of Springtime, and thus, of Easter.
So now you know! You can now tell all your friends about the fun celebration of the Easter Bunny and where it came from. Have fun this Easter with your friends and family, decorate some Easter eggs, and celebrate the Springtime!
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