Easter traditions have been around for a long time. For Christians, the Easter holiday marks the celebration of the resurrection of Christ. Per History.com, the decoration of eggs is believed to date back to at least the 13th century, while the Easter parade has even older roots. However, many may wonder, where did the Easter Bunny come from? This is especially perplexing as the Bible makes no mention of the cherished furry hare who delivers decorated eggs.
The Easter bunny concept is believed to have been brought to America in the 1700s by German immigrants. They settled in Pennsylvania and brought with them the tradition of an egg-laying rabbit called “Osterhase” or “Oster Haws.” The children created “nests” for the hare in which it could lay colorful eggs. A theory exists that Easter bunny origins stemmed from early pagan celebrations around the vernal equinox. As Christianity spread and missionaries blended traditions to ease transitions of new believers, the celebration of springtime and renewal of life, as represented by a hare or an egg, purportedly merged with religion.
Today, the Easter bunny is largely associated with the Christian celebration of Easter. However, since the Easter bunny carries no religious significance by itself, children of all religions may enjoy decorating eggs, attending egg hunts, and getting baskets of chocolate or candies. While we can’t point with certainty to the origins of the rabbit, we do know that the Germans who came to America carried with them the beloved tradition of the Easter Bunny that has grown epically and still puts smiles on the faces of young and old across the USA.