Easter Holiday a Celebration of More Mere Christianity

Posted on March 30, 2012 by

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Paganism and fertility are two things most people do not associate with the “Easter Bunny,” the legendary rabbit who brings colorful eggs filled with sweets to children on Easter Sunday.

Easter, as most know, is the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which begs the question…What does a rabbit with a basket full of eggs have anything to do with that?

The answer, quite simply, is that it has absolutely nothing to do with it. Instead, the affiliation of the “Easter Bunny” and this Christian holiday exists purely in the timing of Easter.

Easter falls very close to the vernal equinox or, as we know it today, the beginning of spring. Many of the pagans who existed during the ancient times celebrated the arrival of spring and their goddess Eastre, who symbolized dawn, spring, and fertility.

The idea for the tradition of the “Easter Bunny” stems from a pagan story that claimed one year spring came late, and Eastre found a bird whose wings had frozen solid. She took pity on the bird and turned it into a rabbit that, once per year, on the day of the festival that celebrated the arrival of spring,  he could lay eggs that were the colors of the rainbow to remind him of when he was a bird.

The bunny was still not the symbol of Easter for many years until the Germans began openly celebrating him sometime in the 1500s. When the people we know as the Pennsylvania Dutch came to the new world in the 1700s, they brought with them the tradition of the “Easter Bunny.”

Today, the “Easter Bunny” is an icon in not just America and Germany but also in places such as New Zealand and Austria. He is, to many children, equal to “Santa Claus” and the “Tooth Fairy,” and some malls have places where children can have their picture taken with the Bunny.

“He was awesome,” junior Cody Millard said. “He gave me free stuff.”

However, not everyone loved the rabbit.  As Junior Sierra Sweitzer states, “I was terrified, I could not get near one of them without freaking out.”

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