The reason Why We Dye Eggs For Easter? kind of makes sense. I mean, it’s easy to understand why the tradition started. But what always seemed weird to me, was the Easter bunnies. How on earth did we come to associate bunnies with Easter? If it was for the eggs, shouldn’t a hen be more appropriate?
Well, because here at I’m A Useless Info Junkie we don’t want to leave you wondering, we looked into it and we (kind of) have the answer.
The exact origin of why we celebrate Easter with bunnies is unknown. What we know for sure though is the fact that rabbits have been associated with fertility since ancient times. Since Easter in Christianity celebrates the resurrection of Christ and therefore new life, Christians used bunnies as a prominent symbol of their celebrations. But this wasn’t always the case. (the article continues after the ad)
Early Christians did not have bunnies in their Easter celebrations. According to some scholars, the all Easter-bunny thing started in medieval Europe and was probably brought to America by the German immigrants in the 18th century. In fact, Germany not only spread the tradition but it was also the country that spawned it.
A famous German legend that’s mentioned in writings in the 1500s, has it that a poor woman painted colorful eggs for her children to find in their garden. As soon as the children found the eggs, a hare was seen hopping away from the garden. Because children thought that the hare left the eggs, we use bunnies for Easter celebrations as they are the ones bringing the eggs.
Another interesting theory on the origin of bunnies has to do with Eostre, the Germanic paganistic goddess of fertility. Eostre’s, sacred animal was of course, a white rabbit and that’s why bunnies have been associated with Easter. Again, the basis for the association is fertility and new life. I personally find it very interesting that both of these legends have been made popular by the Germans especially if we consider that at the time, English, French and Spanish were the superpowers of Europe (and had influence on the New World) and not the Germans.
BONUS FACT: Bunnies are not the only animals associated with Easter holiday. In Switzerland, a cuckoo delivers the Easter eggs, while in different parts of Germany children wait for the Easter fox, chick, rooster or stork!
If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: Why Do We Dye Eggs For Easter?
Main Article Photo: Wikimedia
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: Here’s how Easter turned into a holiday with pastel bunnies and chocolate eggs | Easter Symbols and Traditions | The Easter Bunny (Osterhase) originated in Germany | EOSTRE