Found this interesting article on the Easter Bunny.
To Christians, Easter is a serious and religious holiday. This is because it marks the resurrection of Christ. To other cultures, Easter, called other
names, can also be a huge religious holiday. Easter is celebrated as the end of winter and the beginning of spring, which brings about new life. For
children, Easter is much like Christmas, they look forward to waking up Easter morning and finding baskets of chocolates, eggs, other candies and
sometimes a stuffed bunny that was left for them by the much loved Easter Bunny.
The rabbit, along with the bird and the egg, are fertility symbols that have been around for thousands of years. This is because the birds and the
rabbits usually reproduce in early spring and rabbits often continue to do so through out spring. It is fact that rabbits and hares are prolific
breeders, the female can conceive a litter of babies while still pregnant with another litter. For this fact alone it is no wonder why the rabbit and
hare are fertility symbols.
The word Easter actually derives from the word Eoster, which is the name of a Pagan goddess. It is popular folklore that Eoster rescued a bird whose
wings had frozen during the harsh winter by turning it into a rabbit. Since the rabbit had once been a bird, it was still able to lay eggs instead of
having live babies. This is where the modern day Easter Bunny comes from since it is still associated with laying eggs, multicolored eggs at that.
The egg-laying bunny did not come to America until the 18th century. German immigrants that were in the Pennsylvania Dutch region told their children
about the Osterhase, which translated into English means Easter Hare. In the Northwestern European folklore, the Easter bunny is not a rabbit at all,
it is actually a hare. It was believed, many children still believe, that the Easter bunny or hare would leave them baskets of candy if they had been
good. This is much like Santa Claus bringing all the good little boys and girls of the world presents for Christmas.
In Australia, rabbits are considered pests. There has been a long running campaign to replace the Easter bunny with the Easter Bilby, which is a
native marsupial. The campaign has had good success and you can find decorations of the bilby instead of the bunny in stores all over Australia. The
bilby is an endangered species and there have been fundraisers to help save them. This consists of the sale of chocolate biblies instead of
Today's Easter bunny as with most Easter tradition derives from many traditions from many different cultures around the world. In America, the Easter
bunny is more commercialized than used as a symbol of fertility. Much like Santa Claus you may find that the Easter bunny visits your local department
store or mall every year around Easter time to let the children get their pictures taken with him.
This proves the easter bunny is real. Happy easter everyone!
[edit on 23-3-2008 by jedimiller]