Why Is There a Bunny on Easter?
The Easter bunny is one of the most famous symbols of the holiday, but why is there a bunny on easter?
Like Christmas, the Easter holiday is based on Christian beliefs and celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s a major celebration of Christianity and a popular holiday for Christians all over the world.
The Bible makes no mention of a bunny or even a rabbit on the occasion of Easter, reports Time. Instead, the holiday was influenced by a pre-Christian tradition around the vernal equinox that celebrates new life.
During this season, pagan festivals often celebrated the goddess of spring, Eostre. Her image was usually a hare, and she’s thought to have been associated with rebirth and fertility. In the early days of Christianity, it’s possible that these pagan celebrations merged with the observance of Easter and became incorporated into the Christian calendar.
Rabbits are known for their ability to quickly procreate, which may have helped them become a symbol of fertility and rebirth in early Christian times. Eventually, rabbits were used as a symbol of Easter in Christian culture, as well as in religious art and literature.
According to NBC News, the bunny’s earliest roots can be traced to a pagan festival honoring Eostre, the German goddess of fertility and rebirth. Many believe that the bunny’s association with rebirth and fertility was a way to help convert pagans to Christianity.
While this is an interesting theory, it has little basis in history. It is also difficult to prove that the Easter hare was in fact connected to Eostre or to any other goddess.
Another idea is that the bunny was a pagan symbol of spring, a time of rebirth and renewal, and it came into Christian use as a symbol of the resurrection of Christ. This is a common explanation for the origin of the Easter bunny, but it’s still not proven.
Some scholars have argued that the Easter hare is actually connected to the German fertility goddess, Eostra, who was a major figure in both Saxon and Celtic culture. The hare is also a symbol of rebirth and fertility in other cultures, including Greek, Roman and Native American.
The earliest references to an Easter hare were found in the 17th century, but it wasn’t until the early 1700s that it spread throughout Europe and the United States. In Germany, children made nests for a rabbit that was believed to lay eggs for them on Easter morning, and this is the root of the current tradition.
After the rabbit was brought to America by German immigrants, it quickly became a favourite with kids. They would build the nests in their haylofts, barns or gardens. Once the egg nests were built, the rabbit would then lay the colorful eggs for the kids to find on Easter Sunday.
As the tradition spread, it became an annual event. In addition to the eggs, the rabbit started leaving candy and gifts for children as well.