What Is The Deal With The Easter Bunny?
What the heck does a bunny and colored eggs have to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
When I was a kid, there used to be a store chain called Yankees, yeah I know, I'm old. Well anyway, my mom took me and my sister to see the Easter Bunny at this department store. While I'm sitting on this giant bunny's lap, I could see through the eye holes that there was a guy in there wearing glasses, so immediately when I walked away I said to my mom, he's not real, he has glasses on.
It was around kindergarten or first grade but that moment when I discovered for myself the Easter Bunny was a sham, there went the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. When we got home I asked a few questions and there is was. For the record though, I still put my teeth under the pillow because I knew mom would slide some money under there so yes, I hung on to that one for the cash.
So I went to several sites today figuring that somewhere on the internet there would be an explanation of how this Bunny became a symbol of one the biggest biblical traditions of our lifetime.
One theory was that the symbol of the rabbit comes from some pagan tradition called the festival of Eostre which was a party celebrating spring and fertility and since rabbits have massive reproduction rates they became the symbol. But there was still nothing about Jesus, this was more of a spring thing.
Well the next piece of info I found was that in the 1700s, German immigrants brought Osterhase or Oschter Haws to Pennsylvania. This celebration was a rabbit would lay colorful eggs for the kids who were good...sound similar Santa Claus? Kids would make nests so the bunny could leave them behind, sometimes leaving carrots behind like cookies for Santa. Somehow this caught on and spread across America then it became more than colored eggs, chocolate's and toys then became a part of the picture. Once again, what about Jesus?
So I dug deeper and learned that eggs and rabbits have long been a symbol of rebirth, new life, fertility, basically like the first theory a celebration of spring.
So the religious tie is the eggs are supposed to represent Jesus' resurrection and his emergence from the tomb. During lent way back in the 13th century eggs were forbidden food so people would color them since they couldn't eat them until Easter Sunday when they would celebrate.
So it looks like symbolism, the celebration of spring and the resurrection is how the Easter Bunny and eggs are connected.
Though I am suspicious that an egg farmer and a chocolate maker are the ones really behind all of this. Lol.