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The Origins of the Easter Bunny

March 30th, 2018 by tisner

While Easter is a Christian celebration of the resurrection of Christ, you will not find any references to an Easter Bunny in the bible.  So, where did the Easter Bunny tradition come from? Well, it’s hard to say. The theories of the origins of the Easter Bunny are mysterious and varied.  One theory is that the symbol of the rabbit stems from pagan tradition, specifically, the festival of Eostre. Eostre was a goddess of fertility whose symbol was a bunny. Rabbits, known for their energetic breeding, have often been symbols of fertility.

Another theory explains how the Easter Bunny came to America.  According to history.com, the floppy-eared bearer of candy came over with German immigrants. Some sources say that the Easter Bunny arrived in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania. They brought with them the tradition of and egg-laying hare called “Osterhase”.  Children created nests in which “Osterhase” could lay his colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread throughout the country and the gifts from the Easter Bunny expanded to include candy and small gifts.  Decorated baskets replaced the nests. Children began to leave carrots out for the bunny, in case he got hungry from all that hopping.

So, the Easter Bunny may not directly represent the reason people celebrate Easter, but because rabbits symbolize fertility and new life, it makes sense that they would be the right animal to have around for the celebration of a spring holiday!

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