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History of the Egglaying Easterbunny

Updated on July 20, 2017
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Theophanes is a New-England-based blogger, traveler, writer, photographer, sculptor, and lover of cats.

Ah, Easter baskets and chocolate bunnies, what could be better? Christian children across the globe wake up Easter morning with a glee ill-fitting of the holiday itself. Easter is the day Christians 'celebrate' the resurrection of Jesus. However, ask any small child what Easter is and they'll probably give you their own history...

Easter is the day Jesus popped out of a chocolate egg, covered in caramel, and began to gather his disciples around for a wild story. Apparently after he died God lost him in a bureaucratic mess and somehow he found himself not in Heaven but trapped in a chocolate caramel filled Easter egg that coincidentally was laid by none other then a confused chocolate rabbit who had a crazy X-rated run-in with a marshmallow chick the night before. Hence the reason a rabbit laid an egg. To commemorate this crazy set of unlikely circumstances the rabbit decided to dole out dozens of chocolate Easter eggs and candy to adoring children every year on the same day.

OK, maybe not, however that story sadly makes more sense then the real story of how Easter got mixed up with this whole rabbit business. When Jesus was crucified there were millions of Pagans living all across the globe like fleas on an enormous dog. These Pagans often worshipped fertility figures like the rabbit who seemed to have an unnatural predisposition to pop out children like they were Pez candies. As early as three months of age rabbits would go out with their bunny lovers and come home knocked up continuously for the rest of their lives, watching up to eight offspring shoot into the world every six or so weeks. Amazing. At least the ancient Pagans thought so. They also found eggs amazing, and good for fertility rituals.

Pagans worshipped the beginning of Spring with fertility rituals and tales of fertility figures and symbols. Worshipping a fertility God or Goddess would bless them in the warmer months with many children and bountiful crops for them to begrudgingly work on. When Catholics came onto the scene they weren't impressed, but they did have a driving need to save the heathens from their mistaken ways. The best way to do this was of course through trickery.

Early European Catholics discovered it was easier to win converts if the Pagans could still celebrate their Pagan holidays. So they decided to change Christ's birthday to December 25th (suspiciously around the Winter Equinox which Pagans celebrated) and Spring fertility celebrations somehow became Easter. Christ's planner was all screwed up but the Catholics were overjoyed to bring the barbarians under their fold.

Pagan traditions didn't die off. They just got stolen by the Catholics (and later Christians) who claimed them as their own, with no proof of this. The Easter bunny actually comes from a Germanic tradition abount an ancient fertility Goddess by the name of Eostre. Eoster was a kind deity and it is said that when she found a bird with a broken wing she took pity on it but for some odd reason she didn't use her divine powers to fix the bird's wing, instead she turned it into a rabbit, which didn't have wings. This rabbit was still part bird in the sense that it now was given the ability to lay eggs, even in it's current bunny form. This was the mixing of fertility symbols in a story so perfect no Christian could squelch it, so instead they stole it and claimed it was theirs. They weren't creative enough to come up with an alternate retelling of history to explain why.

Now Christian children the world over get all the benefits of Pagan fertility rituals with none of the Christian guilt and shame and their parents get to watch the TV as this bizarre custom reaches new absurdities when the egg-laying rabbit shows up in Cadbury commercials boking like a chicken. I can think of no better way to confuse small children then this. Amen.

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