An Easter Story About Rabbits and Eggs

An Easter Story

Happy Easter! Photo credit: Simply Viola via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Don’t panic, but Easter is right around the corner.

I was abruptly reminded of this on the weekend when I visited our local mall.

It seemed every store featured fine displays of brightly coloured spring clothing, toys, Easter  baskets filled with dyed eggs, and chocolate bunnies.  

On the drive home, I was thinking about these things and came to the realization that I had no idea why our Easter celebration involved rabbits and eggs.

So I set out to do a little research and this is what I learned.

I call it, An Easter Story About Rabbits and Eggs.

A very long time ago, in a land far away (unless you happen to live in Europe), there was a group of people known as Pagans.

These Pagans were not wealthy, but material things were not important to them.

They loved the natural world, even named their gods after the seasons of the year, and  so it was, “Eastre”, their goddess of Spring, who became the namesake of a great festival held every Spring around the time of the equinox.

In due time, the festival was adopted by early Christians for the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, and our Easter was born.

But what does that have to do with rabbits?

OK, the Easter Bunny is believed to have originated with German Lutherans. Their “Easter Hare” was said to have been a “judge” of children’s behavior, you know, “bad or good”. 

Sounds very familiar, doesn’t it?

Anyway, this “Hare”, carried a basket of coloured eggs, to hand out to children on the eve of Easter.

An Easter Story

Lexi’s Easter Eggs ~ Photo credit: RichardBH via VisualHunt / CC BY

The giving of eggs may have been more practical than anything else. It seems that Orthodox religions abstain from eating eggs during the fast of Lent.

With all of those eggs piling up, they were probably boiled, to preserve them, and not have them go to waste.

When the fasting was over, and it was time to celebrate, they had an abundant supply of handouts, ready to go.

It certainly wouldn’t be too difficult to imagine them decorating or colouring the eggs, in some fashion, to add to the festivities of the day.

So there you have it. Easter rabbits and Easter eggs.  Who knew?

Do you have an Easter story? How do you and your family usually celebrate Easter?

 

 

Comments

  1. All these years and I did not know that! Thanks for enlightening me….. oh, and Happy Easter!

  2. Hmm,learn something new every day! My family attends church, but when I was younger we would attend a sunrise service on Easter Sunday. It was always at the top of a steep hill, the trumpet would sound as the sun rose and it was just beautiful. I hope to take my own kids someday.
    Suzanne Rudge recently posted…Need Some Laughs? Enter To #Win A DVD Copy Of Daddy’s Home! #Giveaway CAN, 4/14My Profile

  3. sabina edwards says:

    HECK I just finally learned when and why Easter is all over the place on the calendar (full moons and all that)

  4. We celebrate with an epic Easter egg hunt with all the “kids”. I am 33 and still considered one of the kids so it is LOTS of fun with all my cousins that is for sure.
    Little Miss Kate recently posted…Where To Stay Downtown Halifax – Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites Halifax ReviewMy Profile

  5. Love this! I had no idea either! I was just telling my hubby that this was the first time we really celebrated with easter egg hunts and bunnies and whatnot. Usually, as a family – especially as a child – it was all about “preparation” and being solemn. And then on Easter Day it was just about family and food and happiness – new life. But now with my own child, we’re integrating the bunny and eggs – and NOW I know why! Thank yoU :)

  6. It’s always interesting to hear why we have the customs we do! Thanks for doing the research!
    Jennifer recently posted…The Great Canadian #Giveaway Link UpMy Profile

  7. I had a paper written on the Germanic goddess Ēostre back in university, that alluded to her ties to Easter… I don’t remember much of what I had researched then, but if I’m remembering correctly, Ēostre was a fertility goddess (something that is connected to spring, and renewal and birth/rebirth;) and the hare was one of the goddesses animal symbols, mostly believed to be because of this animal’s abundant proclivity to procreate during the spring.
    Aeryn Lynne recently posted…Three Simple Steps to Appreciate the MomentMy Profile

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