Origins of the Easter Bunny and Why We Eat Chocolate Easter Eggs Explained
Easter is a religious holiday, but like Christmas, it is now associated with things that don’t seem to have much to do with Christian beliefs.
One of the main elements of the Easter holidays that children in particular look forward to are chocolate eggs delivered by the Easter Bunny.
But where does the character come from? Here’s what you need to know about the origins of the Easter rabbit.
Easter rabbit, but where does the character come from?
Where does the Easter Bunny come from?
Like the customs associated with other annual events such as April Foolthe exact origins of Easter rabbit are unknown.
There are several theories about where Easter bunny came.
The first is that the rabbit comes from the ancient pagan festival of Eostre, which some say is where the celebration of Easter began as it came before the advent of Christianity itself.
Eostre is the Germanic goddess of the dawn who is celebrated during the Spring Equinox.
She is also the goddess of fertility and spring, and her animal symbol would have been a rabbit which is the traditional symbol of fertility.
In America, some people believe the Easter Bunny was first introduced in the 1700s by German immigrants to Pennsylvania.
They are said to have introduced their tradition of laying hare known as ‘Osterhase’ or ‘Oschter Haws’ to the community.
The hare would lay colored eggs as a gift to well-behaved children, and in preparation for his visit, the children would then make nests for him to leave these eggs in.
Over time, this tradition spread across America and became a widespread Easter tradition, and over time gifts later included treats such as toys and chocolate.
In Germany, the tradition of the Easter Bunny is believed to have originated among German Protestants around the 1600s.
Their Easter bunny would also judge the children and decide whether or not they deserved an Easter egg hunt.
Where does the tradition of Easter eggs come from?
The original tradition of Easter eggs has its roots in paganism and is linked to the fact that Easter is a religious celebration.
For Christians, the egg symbolizes when Jesus rose from the tomb after the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection.
For this reason, eggs symbolize new life for Christians and this is why they appeared in pagan festivals celebrating spring.
Why do we eat chocolate at Easter?
Over time, the colored eggs left by the Easter Bunny can be replaced with chocolate eggs.
At the same time, the nests that the children made to keep them became the baskets that we know.
The first chocolate eggs are said to have been created in France and Germany in the 19th century – but they weren’t like the treats we know today, but rather bitter and hard.
Over time, chocolate making techniques have improved, so have the ingredients available, and the hollow eggs we are used to eating have developed.
Chocolate Easter eggs became popular all over the world very quickly once this sweet and delicious recipe was created.
Today, buying, giving and eating them is a favorite Easter custom for people of all ages.
When does the Easter Bunny usually deliver chocolate eggs?
Again, there is no definitive answer as to when the Easter Bunny delivers chocolate eggs.
The bunny always arrives during the Easter weekend, most often on Easter Sunday morning.
In some homes, the Easter Bunny arrives on Easter Saturday evening and, like Santa Claus, leaves gifts for the children’s wake-up call on Easter Sunday.
When is Easter 2022?
This year, the Easter weekend begins on Good Friday, April 15. Easter Saturday is April 16, followed by Easter Sunday on April 17. The Easter weekend ends on Monday April 18 with Easter Monday.
Why does the date of Easter change every year?
Unlike April Fool’s Day, Halloween, Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Years, the date of Easter is not fixed and changes every year.
It can take place anytime between March 22 and April 22.
The date of Easter Sunday is decided based on a complicated set of calculations regarding moon sightings.
The exact date when Easter should be celebrated is something churches have debated for centuries, with various methods of calculation used by different sects.