Every Easter, the legend of the long-eared, cotton-tailed creature visits us to deliver festive baskets full of treats, toys, & lots and lots of candy to children! What’s the best part of it all though? For me at least, it’s the egg hunts! Whether there’s candy or quarters inside, the race is on to see who can retrieve the most amount of eggs. But wait...where did the Easter bunny even come from?
How was the “Easter Bunny” born? Surprisingly, there’s a lot of history behind the mythical story of an egg-bearing rabbit on Easter Sunday. According to Time, it all began from the ancient pagan tradition believed to have started the celebration of Easter, the festival of Eostre, this honored the goddess of fertility & spring. Supposedly, the goddess’s animal symbol turned out to be a rabbit.
How did this come to America? History.com says it was first introduced in the 1700s by German immigrants in Pennsylvania, who reportedly brought over their tradition of an egg-laying hare named “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” As the story goes, the rabbit would lay colorful eggs as gifts to children who were good - and the kids would even leave out carrots for the bunny!
Why eggs though? It has been a long ancient symbol of fertility, rebirth, and new life - all things associated with the springtime celebration of Easter! From a Christian perspective, eggs for Easter are said to represent Jesus’ resurrection & his emergence from the tomb. Decorating the eggs dates all the way back to the 13th century, they were traditionally a forbidden food during Lent which was why people would decorate them as the fasting period came to an end, and then eat them as a way to celebrate Easter Sunday.
Cox Media Group