What is the Easter Bunny? It’s Meaning, Origin & Traditions

The Easter Bunny has a long history. It was brought to America from Germany by immigrants in the Pennsylvania Dutch area. It has become an integral part of the American Easter tradition and has to a lesser degree been accepted in the UK

What Is the Easter Bunny?

The Easter Bunny is usually considered to be a benevolent, vaguely supernatural creature that brings gifts to good boys and girls. Today these gifts are usually in the form of Chocolate Easter Eggs.

The origin of the Easter Bunny probably goes back to the festival’s connection with the pagan goddess Eostre. Eostre (sometimes spelt Oestre) was a fertility goddess from whom we derive the word “oestrogen” and she is closely associated with fertility symbols such as eggs. The rabbit is known as a highly fertile creature and hence an obvious choice for Easter symbolism.

Easter Bunny

Easter Bunny

In fact, the use of a rabbit is probably a mistake – the Easter “bunny” is more likely to be a hare since it is the hare that is usually considered the sacred creature of Eostre. Hares have been considered sacred by many cultures including the ancient Egyptians who believed them to watch the moon during the night. Although hares and rabbits are related they are most definitely different creatures, as certain Bugs keeps reminding us!

The earliest known reference to our modern Easter Bunny tradition appears to be from 16th century Germany. In the 18th century, German settlers to America brought the tradition with them. The Bunny was known by them as Oschter Haws (or Osterhase) and brought gifts of chocolate, candy and Easter Eggs to good children. Often children would make up nests for Oschter Haws, sometimes using their Easter bonnets, and the Bunny would leave his treats there.

Fewer children today have bonnets or build nests, however, it is common in some places for the Easter Bunny to scatter and/ or hide its treats for the children to find on an Easter egg hunt. A Bunny costume is an also popular suit for the festivities.

The idea of a giant supernatural rabbit that lays millions of chocolate eggs in one night is, of course, incongruous and ridiculous. Fortunately, that is no problem for the imaginations of young children.

Easter Bunny

Easter Bunny

Origin Of Easter Bunny

The origin of Easter Bunny traced back to the settlements of ancient pagan. As per the resource, rabbits are regarded as a symbol of fertility. Since rabbits were heralds’ fertility icons, they became essential symbols of the rising fertility of the earth at the vernal equinox. Ancient people celebrated the beginning of spring at the vernal equinox, by blessings seeds for growth and putting colored egg on the altar. And that’s why it is said that the Easter Bunny has its origin in the era of ancient pagans.

Easter Bunny Origin

Easter Bunny Origin

Another story related to the origin of Easter Bunny is also associated with an ancient Pagan legend. According to legend, the most worshiped Pagan deity, goddess Eostre, during a winter season retrieved a wounded bird in a snowy forest. To help it to survive in chilly winter, goddess turned it into a rabbit. In order to extend its gratitude towards a deity, the rabbit decorated its eggs beautifully and offered them to the goddess, at every spring.

However, many historical records suggest that Easter Bunny emerged in Alsace and Southwestern Germany. During the 1700s the German settlers introduced the character of Easter Bunny to American folklore. It was termed as the arrival of “Oschter Haws” who known as childhood’s greatest pleasure as it lay a nest of colored eggs for small children.

During the modern day Easter celebration in Germany, Easter Bunny became a part of it and thereafter tales were told of an Easter Hare who laid eggs for kids to find. They also make cakes for Easter in the shape of hares.

Also, see this Easter Eggs Origin article to know more about Easter Eggs.

Easter Bunny Traditions

Everyone looks forward to the arrival of the hippity-hoppity, happy Easter Bunny (even if it is just Dad dressed up in an Easter bunny costume!). There are so many fun activities of the day – coloring and decorating eggs, choosing your Easter basket, getting brand new clothes and shiny new shoes, then hunting for all those colorful eggs and the chocolate Easter Bunny.
The Easter bunny is one of our most cherished traditions, as are the beautifully decorated eggs he brings. It’s a lot of fun to dress up in costumes for Easter – bunnies, bunnies everywhere!
Of course, the cutest of all is the baby bunny – all warm and cozy in

that tiny bunny suit, with either the floppy ears or the stand-up kind. Even a baby bunting for showing off your newborn.

Easter Bunny Tradition

Easter Bunny Tradition

Kids love to be active, and hopping around in a bunny suit is great for burning off lots of energy. There are bunny costumes for kids of all sizes that are great for Easter, Halloween, and school plays. Looking for a little girl’s showstopper? It’s definitely the cute girly outfit with pink ears on a headband and a fluffy bunny tail on a little short skirt.

But of course, the one that everyone is waiting for is that silly uncle of yours dressed in the Easter bunny mascot costume. Carrying a giant carrot and an Easter bunny basket of eggs, you never know what other magical goodies the Easter Bunny has in store for you. Even kids at the Mall and at parades are enthralled by the appearance that special big bunny!

Easter Bunny

Easter Bunny

Rabbits and Easter bunnies are popular all year long as beloved mascots at sporting events, schools, and birthday parties. There are many styles available – sports themes, Harvey the Giant Rabbit, fabulous special order costumes, and even that one that “went down the bunny hole”. To get the most out of your bunny costume, there are comfortable “cold collars and vests” so it can be worn for up to 2 hours at a time. The kids are just going to love it!

If you liked this post, do share it with your friends and you might also be interested in our other posts: ‘Easter Games for Kids 2019 and Adults’ & ‘Happy Easter Wishes 2019‘. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *