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The Origin Behind A Bunny That Delivers Eggs On Easter Is More Historical Than You Might Think

As kids we are told about a bunny that delivers eggs filled with candy and we just accept this.

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Easter: The holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus also includes a bunny that delivers eggs filled with candy for children to seek... but how did this come to be?

The precise reasons are still a mystery but historians have some idea of the Easter bunny's origins.

The whole concept of the Easter bunny is weird. Why is he giant and why does he have chocolate eggs?!

Why do we celebrate easter with the easter Bunny and find Eggs, when Bunnies don’t lay Eggs and Eggs don’t come out of Bunnies!?

Every year I look up "why is there an Easter bunny." The answer is never satisfying

One popular theory is that the symbol of a rabbit comes from the Pagan tradition the festival of Ēostre

Fine Art America / By Land, Sea and Sky / Via /

Ēostre, Germanic Goddess of Spring, gave Her name to the Christian festival of Easter (a Pagan festival appropriated by Christianity). Now modern pagans celebrate Ēostre's festival on the Vernal Equinox, usually around the first day of Spring.

Egg decorating dates back to the 13th century


Eggs represented new life, so during the Christian religious observance Lent, eggs were not to be eaten. Lent ends the Saturday before Easter Sunday, so on Easter, eggs were allowed to be eaten again. During the period where people fasted on eggs, it is said that people would paint and decorate the eggs to mark the end of the period of penance.

So the emphasis on bunnies makes (some) sense and the emphasis on eggs makes (some) sense but how did we get a bunny hiding eggs for children?

For that we have to thank the Germans.

The German folklore figure, Osterhase (or Oschter Haws), is also known as the Easter Hare, sound familiar?

First mentioned in German writings in the 1500s, the legend of Osterhase began with a story of a poor woman living in Germany. The woman decorated colorful eggs for her children and hid them in the garden. As soon as her children found the eggs, a large hare was seen hopping away. The children (not knowing hares are mammals) thought the hare left the eggs.

The Easter bunny we know was introduced to American folklore by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s

The tradition during that time was that children would make nests for Osterhase to lay it's colorful eggs. As time went on and the tradition spread across the U.S. the treats left became candies and gifts, the nest turned to baskets, and Osterhase became the Easter Bunny (has more of a cutesy ring to it).

Now the whole bunny hiding eggs filled with candy for children to seek makes more sense, right...? Nah, it's still pretty crazy.

Giphy / Via


Bunnies aren’t the only animal associated with Easter, in other counties animals like foxes or cuckoo birds are associated with the holiday.

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