The Captivating Creation of the Easter Bunny

(Photo courtesy of Google)

(Photo courtesy of Google)

McKenzie Reh, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Time is ticking down and the Easter bunny will soon be hopping around. Most of us already know that the Easter bunny is a folkloric figure who has become a symbol for Easter, but I bet some of you guys don’t know where the idea of the Easter bunny came from.
This famous bunny originated among the German Lutherans. They claimed that the “Easter Hare” or Easter bunny judged whether the children were good or bad at the start of the season of Eastertide and in turn determined whether or not they would receive gifts on Easter, much like Santa Clause when Christmas time comes around.
In German tradition the Easter bunny was described as an egg-laying hare and as a part of this tradition the children made nests so that the bunny could lay its colored eggs and they even left out carrots for the bunny.
The reason behind why the Easter bunny is known as an egg-laying bunny is because rabbits are a symbol of new life based on the fact that they give birth to a big litter of babies, so the eggs the Easter bunny delivers are considered to be a symbol of new life. The Easter bunny was first connected with Easter eggs in the spring celebration in Germany.
An interesting fact is that the symbol of the rabbit is believed to stem from the pagan tradition with the festival of Eostre (the goddess of fertility whose animal symbol was a bunny).
It is believed that the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s when German immigrants arrived in Pennsylvania. The idea of the Easter bunny is believed to have first originated in the 1500s in Germany and it was based on the legend of the Osterhase or Easter hare.
The legend of the Easter hare claims that a poor woman hid eggs for her children to find. After the children had found the eggs, they saw a hare jumping away.
In some parts of the United States some people referenced the Easter bunny as “Peter Cottontail” because of the popular 1950’s song, “Here comes Peter Cottontail” written by Gene Autry.
One fun fact is that Australia does not use the Easter bunny as a symbol for Easter. Apparently, after Australia had become overrun with rabbits in the mid-nineteenth century, they changed their symbol of Easter to a bilby, which is an endangered species that closely resembles a rabbit.
Some additional fun facts that seemed particularly interesting are that the chocolate Easter bunnies that most of us see in the stores near Easter time originated in Germany in the nineteenth century and apparently, these delicious, chocolate bunnies weren’t hollow until World War II when a cocoa bean rationing was in force.