The History of the Easter Bunny

The History of the Easter Bunny

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    Spring is the time when harsh winter is gone and everything starts to bloom once again, a time of rebirth and fertility. The goddess of fertility cast into the Heavens, the hare, and gave it the ability to lay eggs, one time a year.


    The Easter bunny origin came from fertility lore of the Anglo-Saxons, worshipping the goddess, Eastre. Her symbol was the rabbit or hare, the most fertile among animals, and was a symbol during spring, of new life. The symbol was brought to America by the Germans, having originated there and mentioned in writings in 1500. The first Easter bunnies made of sugar and pastry were made in 1800 in Germany. Easter wasn’t celebrated in America until after the Civil War. Children believed the Easter hare would lay colored eggs in a nest if their behavior was good. Boys used their hats and the girls used bonnets to make nests, placing them in the garden, barn, or in their home. After the tradition spread, elaborate baskets were used in anticipation of the Easter bunny. The egg, from early times, symbolized rebirth and were wrapped in gold paper. Peasants colored their eggs by boiling petals of flowers. In America, the hare became the Easter bunny in the 19th century. The Easter bunny left candy chicks, jelly beans, Easter eggs, chocolates, and other gifts.


    Today, children gather eggs and put into elaborate baskets along with chocolate and plastic Easter eggs. Places of businesses sponsor egg hunts for the public and have the children play Easter bunny games. Some popular Easter games are; pin the tail on the bunny, Easter candy toss, spoon and egg race, egg toss, and guess the number of jellybeans.


    Think of these origins fondly as you celebrate the coming Easter holiday, eating marshmallow eggs and chocolate bunnies, and have a Happy Easter!

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