How the bunny got involved in Easter
Have you ever wondered why one of the primary symbols of Easter is a rabbit? Of course, he’s not just any rabbit — he’s a rabbit that lays eggs. And often brings chocolate, candy, toys and so on. These days, he’s become a bit like Santa Clause in Spring. But the need to bring home half the toy store for your kids wasn’t always the case. And somewhere along the lines, we just started to lose sight of the traditions and the reasons for doing what we do.
There’s a few theories about how the Easter of today evolved; but I really like this suggestion about why the Easter bunny actually lays eggs:
It may have simply arisen from confusion of symbolism but, like much of the holiday of Easter itself; it could be a direct heritage from older traditions. In Germanic and Slavic languages, the word “Easter” comes from an ancient pagan goddess of the spring named Eostre. According to legend, Eostre once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird, it could still lay eggs, and that rabbit became the modern Easter Bunny.
Read the full article here.
Somehow, that notion is just far more romantic and special than just trying to make something up when your kids put you on the spot. Because obviously a rabbit has very little to do with the crucifixion of Christ, or His resurrection.
There’s a few more ideas in the article about why we color eggs and the symbolism that stands behind them. What are you thoughts about why we have the rabbit at Easter? Have you read other theories about where all these traditions developed?