Easter Bunny - From the Beginning
The history of the Easter Bunny goes back many centuries and is tied to a pagan legend. It is said that the Goddess of Spring, Ostara, was late bringing spring one year. When she found that a little bird’s wings had frozen in her absence, she felt really bad about it. She decided to save its life and made it her pet. Since it could no longer fly, Ostara turned the bird into a snow hare named Lepus. She gave Lepus the ability to run so very fast that he would be able to out run the hunters. This was the beginning of the Easter Bunny.
Something else Ostara gifted Lepus with was the ability to lay eggs. This was in memory that he was once upon a time a bird. Not only would he be able to lay eggs but they would be eggs of every color of the rainbow. The only draw back to this was that Lepus could only lay these multi colored eggs one day a year. That was on the day the celebration of Eastre was held.
Easter bunny first mentioned
The first mention of the Bunny as a symbol of Easter was in the late 1500’s in Germany. In the 1800’s, it was also the Germans who created the first edible Easter Bunny. Although the Germans are credited with turning the bunny into an icon of Easter, it was the Pennsylvania Dutch who introduced the bunny to the United States in the 1700’s.
Children loved the tradition of creating a nest by using a basket to set out the night before Easter. During the night, these baskets would be filled with all sorts of chocolate bunnies, eggs, colored hard boiled eggs, and an assortment of toys. The baskets were then hidden so that the children would have to hunt for their goodies on Easter morning. The Easter Bunny was credited with doing all of that much as Santa Claus is praised for bringing toys to children all over the world on Christmas Eve.
This bunny has been given human “traits” over the years, such as being able to walk on two legs and talk. He is also seen as tall as a human. Children love to see him dressed in his white or pink fuzzy suite each year. They can even have their pictures taken with him to save in scrapbooks. The bunny brings lots of fun and excitement to the holiday of Easter and will continue to do so as long as there is an Easter to celebrate.