On Sunday you and your family will most likely be celebrating Easter.  But before you head off to Easter service or even have a cup of coffee, you will be woken up by your kids who are dying to find their Easter baskets that have been hidden by a giant rabbit.  You may have asked yourself the question before of what in the world does a giant bunny has to do with the Easter holiday.  I know I have.  Funny enough, the answer isn’t so straightforward.

About a month ago I finally discovered what the significance of painted eggs was during the Easter season.  It has a pretty cool origin and you can see that right here.  In the same manner as Easter eggs, the Easter Bunny does come from pagan traditions.  However, what we all know and recognize today as the Easter Bunny comes from early German settlers in the 1700s.

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Going as far back as the 1200s, some people associated the rabbit with an old deity called Eostra.  She was the goddess of spring and fertility.  The association came from the fact that rabbits, as we know, are very fertile and have a high reproduction rate.  Now, how early German settlers took this and turned it into a giant rabbit hiding eggs in baskets is still a little unclear.  From what I can tell is that it all stems from ways of celebrating spring and new life.  I.e., the resurrection of Christ.

What German children would do in the 1700s was they would make nests for “Osterhase” (aka Easter Hare) to put colored eggs in.  After a while, this tradition caught on and spread across the U.S.  Eventually the nests became baskets, and then different chocolates and candies were put in along with other small gifts.  All in an effort to celebrate Christ’s resurrection and the Easter holiday.

So, hopefully, this new information helps you understand the correlation between bunnies and Easter.  Now you can be the smartest person at your Easter gathering this year because you will have all the answers.

(Sources: History.com, Herald-zeitung.com, Huffpost.com

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