What are the origins of the Easter Bunny? The story has nothing to do with Jesus

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Like Christmas, Easter is a Christian holiday that can be celebrated in a thousand different ways, depending on your family’s traditions, as well as your religious and cultural background.

For example, you can center your Easter celebrations around a Sunday church service — or, if you’re Catholic, during the entire seven days of Holy Week beginning with Palm Sunday. Alternatively, perhaps an elaborate family Easter dinner with all your loved ones is the hallmark of your Easter experience. Or maybe your holiday involves both events or other Easter traditions together. In the West, many children look forward to Easter as a time to Easter baskets, egg huntsand Easter crafts. But no matter how you mark the day, there’s one common holiday symbol that’s undeniably recognizable: the Easter Bunny.

You may be wondering where exactly the tradition of the Easter Bunny comes from. It never appears in the Bible, after all. Although a little murky, the origins of the Easter Bunny are more interesting than you might think. Curious to know more? Get ready to dive into the surprisingly complex story of the Easter Bunny as we know it today.

The Origins of the Easter Bunny

Photo credit: Image source – Getty Images

Christians observe Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon on (or after) the vernal equinox. It is the day when the majority of the Earth experiences nearly equal hours of sunshine and night, signaling the arrival of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. this explains why Easter falls on a different date each year.

But before Christianity was an established religion, there was a pagan festival that also fell around the time of the March equinox, a festival for the goddess of fertility, Eastre (or Eostre). His associated symbols included Hare, as well as the egg, both of which have represented new life since ancient times. Some scholars believe that in medieval Europe, Christian missionaries hoped to convert Anglo-Saxons to Christianity by aligning Easter with the days of these pagan festivals and adopt similar traditions. This could explain how rabbits first connected to the Christian holiday.

Why does the Easter bunny bring eggs?

Whatever the Easter Bunny’s origins, it’s clear that the figure is now ubiquitous in the United States, and some people have their German ancestors to thank for that. When German Lutheran immigrants began arriving in Pennsylvania in the 1700s, they brought with them their tradition of a laying rabbit called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws”.

German children made nests for this animal to lay its colorful eggs, a custom that eventually spread to the United States. Later, in addition to eggs, the Easter Bunny began to leave sweets and gifts for children, also as part of his holiday deliveries. In return, the children would leave carrots for the Easter Bunny as a snack to help fuel his busy Easter morning. This story is our best bet for explaining how eggs and bunnies have become so intertwined with modern Easter celebrations and festivities.

Is the Easter bunny real?

If you are a little one reading this article, then we are here to tell you that yes, of course the Easter bunny is real! While parents can help him out whenever he’s really busy during the Easter season, the Easter Bunny himself is responsible for all those baskets. Wondering when it will arrive at your house? Track the bunny’s journey with the Easter Bunny Tracker. Starting at 5 a.m. ET on Saturday, April 16, 2022, you can check in with the Easter Bunny every hour as he travels the world laying down eggs and candy.

Where does the Easter bunny live?

Photo credit: Image source - Getty Images

Photo credit: Image source – Getty Images

Unlike Santa’s picturesque setup at the North Pole, the permanent residence of the Easter Bunny is less well known. Some sources believe he lives Easter island, located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean (so named because the island was discovered by Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen on Easter Sunday in 1722). It’s said to provide plenty of privacy for this famous bunny year-round, and it’s apparently a convenient starting point for his trip around the world on Easter Eve.

Others believe that since the Germans originally brought this tradition to the United States, the Easter Bunny should logically live somewhere in Europe. Much like its origins, it seems there will always be a mystery in its current whereabouts.

What does the Easter Bunny look like?

Based on pagan folklore and its traditionally white fur, the Easter Bunny appears to be a arctic hare. This means that he has very large ears and a coat that naturally camouflages him in the snow. If spring comes early, however, it may have a brown coat: arctic hares moult or lose their fur with the changing seasons, turn brown for better camouflage during summer. As for most Easter Bunny costumes, you’ll usually see him flaunting his white winter look.

The Easter Bunny also occasionally wears clothes. Her common accessories include waistcoats and bow ties in orange, the color of her favorite carrots. He usually carries a basket full of colored eggs, candy, and other treats to hand out to the children. Like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny often gives preferential treatment to well-behaved children, rewarding them with the best loot.

How is the Easter Bunny celebrated around the world?

While many Easter traditions around the world feature the Easter Bunny, others are very different from what is commonly seen in the United States. An example is in Australia, where until recently the tradition of the Easter bunny was as popular as in America. But in 1991, australia without rabbit launched a campaign to replace the Easter Bunny with the Easter Bilby, a rabbit-sized marsupial. This environmental awareness effort stemmed from the devastation the non-native rabbits were causing to local wildlife. Today in Australia, you can find many chocolate bilbies on store shelves, in addition to confectionery Easter bunnies.

In Norway, where Easter is often considered more important than Christmas, Easter Chickens (“Påskekyllinger”) takes precedence over the festive hare. Like rabbits, hens are also a symbol of fertility, renewal and the changing of the seasons. Interestingly, Norway has two non-animal Easter traditions that are popular for the holidays: skiing and read real crime novels.

Finally, in a touch of Halloween, you will find Easter witches comes and goes in Finland. As tradition dictates, Finnish children, especially girls, dress in colorful old clothes and paint freckles on their faces. They then go door to door, chasing away evil spirits in exchange for treats.

Despite all these many variations on the holiday, the Easter Bunny remains popular in the United States, England, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Denmark. And if history is any indication, he won’t be leaving anytime soon!

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Alicia R. Rucker