Do you know
How did a bunny get associated with Easter
Easter is a festival in the Christian calendar which celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death. However, there's no story whatsoever in the Bible about a long-eared, cotton-tailed animal called the Easter Bunny, and no mention about kids painting eggs either. And real bunnies surely don't lay eggs!
So, why are these traditions incorporated in the celebration of Easter? And what do they have to do with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
The origin of Easter Bunny
The first known accounts of the rabbit tradition came out in 15th century German literature, but the bunny actually originates from pre-13th century pagan traditions.
According to some, bunnies were associated with Eostra, the goddess of springtime and offspring, for their exceptionally high reproduction rate. The ancient Anglo-Saxons celebrated the return of spring with a festival held in Eostra’s honor. The offerings involved bunnies and painted eggs, conjuring an end to winter. As it turned out, the pagan celebration of Eostre took place at the same time of year as the Christian ceremony of the resurrection of Jesus and, hence, the Christian missionaries converted the Anglo-Saxons when they met them in the 2nd century. The offering of bunnies and colored eggs ultimately became the Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs.
- The very first Easter Bunny legend appeared in the 1500s. And by 1680, the first tale about a bunny laying eggs and hiding them in a backyard was made public. These stories were introduced to the United States in the 1700s, more precisely when German immigrants came to Pennsylvania Dutch country and shared their tradition of an egg-laying rabbit known as "Osterhase" or "Oschter Haws." Their kids built nests in which this animal could lay its wonderfully colored eggs. Similar to the tradition of leaving milk and cookies out for Santa, German kids oftentimes left carrots out in order for the bunny to leave them sweets or other small gifts.
Published by Claudia Barbu