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Why and When Did the Easter Bunny First Come Hopping to Easter?

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Thinking about the upcoming Christian celebration of Easter with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I began to ask myself the question, “What the heck does a rabbit have to do with Easter and why did someone think of associating the two?”  I’ve participated in this Easter Bunny and Easter egg thing for years and now have passed it on to my kids.  So, with the accessibility of the Internet, I decided to find out.  Here’s what I found:

Most of the information I found agree with the basic historical concept of a rabbit entering into a religious holiday via paganism.  As you know, much of our secular celebrations stem from pagan rituals and the Easter Bunny is no exception.  The Germans are primarily responsible for this particular concept of an Easter Hare delivering eggs.

At NewsDiscovery.com, in an article by I found the following information.

“Bunnies, eggs, Easter gifts and fluffy, yellow chicks in gardening hats all stem from pagan roots. These tropes were incorporated into the celebration of Easter separately from the Christian tradition of honoring the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead.”

“According to the University of Florida’s Center for Children’s Literature and Culture, the origin of the celebration — and the origin of the Easter Bunny — can be traced back to 13th-century, pre-Christian Germany, when people worshiped several gods and goddesses. The Teutonic deity Eostra was the goddess of spring and fertility, and feasts were held in her honor on the Vernal Equinox. Her symbol was the rabbit because of the animal’s high reproduction rate.”

Okay, so I’m not really happy that I’m taking part in another pagan ritual every year when I should be focused on the resurrection of Christ; however, I also know that, as long as we keep the resurrection as the true reason for the celebration, the Easter Bunny/Easter Egg ritual helps make happiness for everyone involved.  It’s like celebrating with a party game.  Besides, when Easter comes along, we should all be happy and celebrating that He is resurrected!

 

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