Who the hell are you? Where did you come from? You don’t even lay eggs! What gives you the right to be the most prominent symbol of this holiday? It doesn’t make sense!
Or does it…?
Let’s start with why I find your existence so weird. Growing up in Hungary (duh…!), the bunny was not really an Easter symbol, just a culture that was adapted from this term “Easter Bunny”. We had chicks and eggs. This makes sense! Chicks come from eggs, and then the chicks will grow up to lay eggs. Easter, being a religious holiday, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus and the cycle of life can be represented with the chick and egg duo.
So Bunny, where do you fit into this cycle?
To figure this out, I did some research. (Duh…!)
Easter, in a nutshell, is a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. Coincidentally (not really), Jesus came back to life around the time when already existing pagan holidays celebrated the arrival of spring with the festival of Eostre. Eostre – looks familiar, doesn’t it?
The festival of Eostre is held to gain the goddess’s favour and blessing. And guess what her speciality is?
Fertility. Or if we stretch the concept, birth and rebirth.
As it happens, Eostre is symbolised with a rabbit or hare. They are incredibly reproductive, and when they do reproduce, they really go for that Cheaper By the Dozen type of family.
So the Easter bunny is really Eostre’s rabbit, borrowed from pagan customs.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Christian holidays “coincided” with pagan celebrations and took on some of their symbols. I suppose it shouldn’t have surprised me when I found out.
Did you know the real reason why we have an Easter bunny? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comment section, and have a happy Easter!