The History of Today’s Easter Bunny


Many retailers signal spring’s arrival with the image of the Easter bunny.  In stores everywhere we see the image of a giant pastel bunny (many times carrying eggs in a basket) advertising that merchant’s wares.  Homes are decorated with images of cute Easter bunnies and some parents even go as far as to dress like the Easter bunny for a chance to impress their children.  When the spring season heads its way towards us, one of the first thoughts that strike our mind is undoubtedly Easter festivity. And when planning Easter festivities it is definitely incomplete without the mention of Easter bunny and Easter eggs. Yet today even with the popular and multiple references many of us are ignorant about the origins of the Easter bunny.

The hare that would become the Easter bunny first came into existence as a symbol associated with fertility due to its very quick reproduction. It was also a matter of timing since spring brings on new bunnies and a renewal of new life.  Ancient civilizations came to regard this time of renewal and actually worshiped the symbols associated with it. Yet it still remains unclear as to exactly how the Easter bunny evolved.

There are many legends associated with the history of the Easter bunny. One of the most common legends suggest that this grand festival Easter got its name from the Anglo- Saxon goddess called Eostre, who was always seen along with her pet bunny rabbit. Eostre was said to have tossed her pet hare into the sky to give us many of the constellations we have today.

It was sometime during the 1800s that the Easter bunny became responsible for starting the tradition of Easter egg hiding.  German immigrants to Pennsylvania brought their Easter bunny tradition with them.  The Easter bunny was said to fill the nests of good boys and girls with eggs and candy the night before Easter.  These children would excitedly build “Easter nests” out of their hats and bonnets while waiting for the Easter bunny’s arrival.  Thus, the first Easter egg hunt can be attributed to Easter bunnies.

Today, the Easter bunny occupies the most dominant position amongst all symbols of Easter. You can literally find Easter bunnies everywhere. Gift stores are stocked with cute bunny rabbit stuff toys. Not only does the Easter bunny adorn homes, but bunnies have become the source of flourishing business for confectionary shops too. Chocolate bunny rabbit cookies, cakes and other confections are the hot sellers during the Easter spring season.

Easter is considered to be the major festival of Christians. While its observance is to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, many secular ideas like the Easter bunny cross over. Since this festival has a lot of significance, it undoubtedly calls for some special celebration. The Easter bunny has become forefront in the decorating for Easter.

There are many ways to use the Easter bunny in your Easter decorations. Banners, signs and drawings can be added to your home to bring in the image of the Easter bunny. Stuffed animal Easter bunnies come in many colors and sizes and can add that comfy quality to your Easter decorations. Be sure to add Easter bunnies to your Easter baskets in the form of chocolate, sugar or pastry. Your Easter dinner can even have the fun of the Easter bunny with a cake decorated to show him arriving (basket in hand) or for kids of all ages, make a batch of Easter bunny sugar cookies and let your guests decorate them to celebrate the arrival of spring and the Easter holiday.

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