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According to the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture, the origin of the celebration — and the origin of the Easter Bunny — can be traced back to 13th-century, pre-Christian Germany, when people worshiped several gods and goddesses. The Teutonic deity Eostra was the goddess of spring and fertility, and feasts were held in her honor on the Vernal Equinox. Her symbol was the rabbit because of the animal’s high reproduction rate.
Why does the Easter bunny distribute eggs? It turns out the egg-toting Easter bunny evolves from a mythic German goddess named Ostara, (Oestre / Eastre) who was the Germanic Goddess of Springtime. According to the Encycolopedia Mythica:
"In ancient Anglo-Saxon myth, Ostara is the personification of the rising sun. In that capacity she is associated with the spring and is considered to be a fertility goddess. She is the friend of all children and to amuse then she changed her pet bird into a rabbit. This rabbit brought forth brightly colored eggs, which the goddess gave to the children as gifts. From her name and rites the festival of Easter is derived."
reply to post by HanzHenry
Up here on my very rural mountain. We have a tiny old folks home. It was suggested last year, we take the Easter eggs there on Sat, so they could hide them themselves.
Then Sunday they could go look for them, as they've forgotten where they hid them the day before.
Interesting the RCC has usurped the holiday with the death of their leader......
However, they have at least kept the date and the bunny in the mix......though what a dead guy has to do with oestre eggs remains unclear............edit on 16-4-2014 by stirling because: (no reason given)