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Spirituality

What do bunnies have to do with Easter ?

By T.K. Randall
April 21, 2014 · Comment icon 75 comments

Where did the Easter Bunny come from ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Jack
If Easter is all about celebrating the resurrection of Christ then where does the Easter Bunny fit in ?
Easter eggs, yellow chicks and the Easter Bunny are things that these days we might take for granted, yet looking back at the Biblical events on which Easter is based there is no indication of where some of these concepts actually came from.

Easter, as it turns out, borrows elements from several different traditions. In addition to the celebration of Jesus rising from the dead there are numerous references to other religions, beliefs and festivities.
The Easter Bunny for example is believed to originate with the Teutonic deity Eostra who was a goddess of spring and fertility represented by a rabbit. Eggs were also originally considered to be a sign of fertility in addition to the traditional association with Jesus' resurrection.

More contemporary stories of the Easter bunny and the laying of eggs however are thought to have first appeared in the 16th and 17th centuries with the tradition of making nests, the decoration of eggs and the giving of candies following on soon afterwards.

Source: Discovery News | Comments (75)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #66 Posted by Frank Merton 10 years ago
It's interesting how popular Western holidays have come to be in Asian countries among non-Christians. Not only Christmas but especially Halloween and Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, as well as personal birthdays (age in Vietnam use to be counted by Tet's you've celebrated and the date of birth tended to be ignored). Also all the trimmings -- such as the sending of cards printed with hearts. The exception seems to be Easter. It goes by unnoticed.
Comment icon #67 Posted by HappyMonkey 10 years ago
In terms of the teachings of christ, we know certain parts to be interpolations of later texts. The golden rule or the woman accused of adultery, for example. As for Jesus, there are various characters who may not have immediate written history of but left an indelible mark on the culture and verifiable archaeology of the region. Jesus does not leave such a mark, as even in the accounts of his existence we do not see a figure who would have much stood out from the other similar figures of his time. In the case of some figures, like for example Homer we find that modern thought is that he likel... [More]
Comment icon #68 Posted by Frank Merton 10 years ago
Socrates is a good deal better attested to than Jesus although the Socrates we see in Plato is perhaps rather embellished. (I'm having a problem here with my English verb phrases and can't get an answer from my sources. Would someone please help me and tell me if "attested to" is correct -- it "feels" better -- or "better attested than Jesus" is right).
Comment icon #69 Posted by Mr Walker 10 years ago
Socrates is a good deal better attested to than Jesus although the Socrates we see in Plato is perhaps rather embellished. (I'm having a problem here with my English verb phrases and can't get an answer from my sources. Would someone please help me and tell me if "attested to" is correct -- it "feels" better -- or "better attested than Jesus" is right). "better attested to than jesus" would be completely correct. You could also say "Socrates is better attested in/by historical sources than Christ." I rather admire your grammatical skills, and wish some of my "native speaking" students had half... [More]
Comment icon #70 Posted by HappyMonkey 10 years ago
Frank, speaking as a fellow raised in the Southern part of the US your English is fine. Probably better than half my kin.
Comment icon #71 Posted by Archangel Oger 10 years ago
There's no story in the Bible about a long-eared, cotton-tailed creature known as the Easter Bunny. Neither is there a passage about young children painting eggs or hunting for baskets overflowing with scrumptious Easter goodies. And real rabbits certainly don't lay eggs. http://news.discover...#mkcpgn=rssnws1 You mean, Like this? http://www.besslerwheel.com/forum/files/easter_bunny.png *grin*
Comment icon #72 Posted by Frank Merton 10 years ago
Frank, speaking as a fellow raised in the Southern part of the US your English is fine. Probably better than half my kin. Thanks; I just love that sort of comment .
Comment icon #73 Posted by Frank Merton 10 years ago
There are rabbits and there are hares. Americans don't seem to pay much attention to the difference the way the British do. The Easter Bunny is clearly a rabbit, so everyone has that straight. As I understand it, though, in the early days of Christianity it was hares that got the religious attention of the spring goddess, and rabbits may not even have been around in those parts of Europe.
Comment icon #74 Posted by TheGreatBeliever 10 years ago
I think bunny gals!
Comment icon #75 Posted by JJ50 10 years ago
The actual Easter story is highly unpleasant, the Easter bunny bit at least gives a bit banter to a not so nice festival!


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