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The Easter Bunny, easter eggs & other Easter celebrations

Updated on February 4, 2016
Easter postcard circa early 20th century
Easter postcard circa early 20th century | Source

Who is The Easter Bunny?

We’ve all heard of the Easter Bunny; he’s the happy bunny who brings all the Easter Eggs to us at Easter time. He’s normally depicted in a humanlike way, with human clothes walking upright and carrying baskets of colored eggs, candy and toys.

He comes to our homes and either leaves the baskets, or hides the egg all around the garden, leading to a fun filled Easter Egg hunt the following day.

In a way, he’s a bit like the Easter Santa Claus as he brings gift the night before a holiday.

"Ostara" (1901) by Johannes Gehrts. The goddess ostre/*Ostara flies through the heavens surrounded by Roman-inspired putti, beams of light, and animals. Germanic peoples look up at the goddess from the realm below
"Ostara" (1901) by Johannes Gehrts. The goddess ostre/*Ostara flies through the heavens surrounded by Roman-inspired putti, beams of light, and animals. Germanic peoples look up at the goddess from the realm below | Source

What are the Origins of The Easter Bunny origins

Most point to a German origin for the Easter Bunny; in the early 1600s, many German publications mention an Easter Bunny as being the symbol of Easter and point to a tradition where the bunny bring Easter Eggs. In the early 1800s the first edible Easter bunnies were produced; they were not made of chocolate though but were more like pastries.

The Easter Bunnies reached the shores of the USA in the early 1700s – early German settlers brought the tradition with them and also instigated the first tradition of receiving colored eggs. This led to the tradition of hiding colored eggs around the garden.

Others maintain that the origin of Easter and the Easter bunny go back to pre-Christian, Anglos saxon history – like many Christian holidays, it is held that Easter is a pagan celebration of the Goddess Eostre (or Eastre) – the rabbit is the earthly incarnation of the Goddess. Eastre was the goddess of fertility and springtime and her symbol was the rabbit.

When the Anglo-Saxons converted to Christianity, the pagan holiday was combined with the Christian memorial of Jesus’ resurrection.


eigenes Foto von Ostereinern
eigenes Foto von Ostereinern

Origins of Easter Eggs and Colored Eggs

Like many myths the origins of the coloring of eggs at Easter time is vague. Many different explanations for the origin are made, and no one really knows which is true.

Eggs are often seen as a sign of fertility, and this combined with the colors of spring just before Easter seem to indicate that the ritual of coloring eggs is tied to both the inception of spring and the fertility rites. Some early Christians also colored their eggs red to signify the blood of Jesus and this honored his sacrifice. The colored eggs were combined with the Easter Bunny in the early 18th century by early German immigrants.

Some claim that Easter Eggs were originally pagan symbols, but there is no real connection that can be found other then vague theories associated with the Goddess Eostre.

In other religions, the hard-boiled egg is often dipped in salt water to signify new life and the Passover. The link of new life being celebrated is a common theme among many religions – in Medieval Europe, eggs were often forbidden during Lent, and this led to the tradition of Pancake Day – once Lent was over, eggs were again consumed and thus became part of the Easter celebrations.

Ancient Egyptians, Persians and Romans all used eggs during their spring festivals, and this common theme combined with the renewal of spring seems to have led to the widely held tradition of coloring eggs.

Facts and Myths about Easter Egg

Over the years many different tradition have formed around the Easter Egg.

  • In Europe, eggs were hung on Mayploes and tress – the egg became a symbol of regeneration.
  • Eggs cooked on Good Friday were supposed to promote fertility in crops.
  • You’ll become rich if you find two yolks in an Easter Egg.
  • Pysanka us the traditional name for Egg painting
  • Americans spend 2 billion dollars on Easter
  • The chocolate egg originated in Europe in the early 1900s
  • 90 million chocolate bunnies are consumed every year


What is Egg Art?

The coloring of eggs has become an art – while many children will color eggs with their parents, the art world has taken egg decorating to a whole new level. The famous Faberge eggs are adored by millions and have become collector’s items.

Egg Decorating has been a traditional form of art for centuries and today the early techniques are still practiced by folk artists around the world – some of the artwork is incredible.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Photo of Moscow Kremlin Egg, taken August 2003Photo of Madonna Lily Egg, taken August 2003 by Photo of Memory of Azov Egg, taken August 2003 by User:Stan ShebsPhoto of Equestrian Egg, taken August 2003 by User:Stan Shebs
Photo of Moscow Kremlin Egg, taken August 2003
Photo of Moscow Kremlin Egg, taken August 2003 | Source
Photo of Madonna Lily Egg, taken August 2003 by
Photo of Madonna Lily Egg, taken August 2003 by | Source
Photo of Memory of Azov Egg, taken August 2003 by User:Stan Shebs
Photo of Memory of Azov Egg, taken August 2003 by User:Stan Shebs | Source
Photo of Equestrian Egg, taken August 2003 by User:Stan Shebs
Photo of Equestrian Egg, taken August 2003 by User:Stan Shebs | Source

Comments

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    • SimeyC profile imageAUTHOR

      Simon Cook 

      8 years ago from NJ, USA

      KR: Happy Easter to you too! Don't give Arnie too many Chocolate Eggs!

    • profile image

      Kelvyn Ross 

      8 years ago

      Great article. I was pretty sceptical when I saw the heading but interesting stuff.

      Happy Easter to you, your family and all your fans!

      Kel

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      8 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      I used to think why eggs and a bunny. Bunnies don't lay eggs. Now I know. Thank you for the hub.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      8 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      eggscelent article! I love eggs. I would like to get a Faberge egg for Christmas, LOL.

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