An Easter celebration won’t be complete without the Easter bunny. If you’d think you know enough about your furry Easter buddy, er, bunny, check out some interesting facts that may make your heart leap in surprise!
1. The origins of the Easter and the Easter bunny are doubtful, and thus are still open to debate. There are a lot of theories as to where and how the Easter and the Easter bunny came from. Many research suggest that the Easter originated from an Anglo-Saxon pagan feast in honor of the fertility goddess Eostre, which happened during the Eosturmonath (which is equivalent to April). It its believed to have originated in Germany during the Middle Ages.
Jacob Grimm (of the famous Brothers Grimm) claimed that Eostre was strongly linked to Ostara, presumably a goddess of spring in ancient German mythology. The hare was the original animal for the Easter, not the bunny. Why the Easter hare entered the picture seemed like a puzzle, but according to a recent theory, the hare might have been a sacred animal to Ostara as it lay multi-colored eggs. It was also believed that the hare associated with the pagan goddess could lay eggs because it had been a bird in its past life.
Although hares and rabbits belong to the same family, these two are otherwise different species. Despite that, they’re often confused because they look almost exactly alike and besides, both of them are associated with fertility.
2. Although the animal is not mentioned in the Bible, religious scholars argue that the Easter bunny (or hare) was associated with the Virgin Mary. Early Christians believed that, because of hares and rabbits being fertile and prolific, these animals could procreate without the help of a sexual intercourse (as in the case of the Virgin Mary).
3. The Easter hare used to judge children whether they were naughty or nice. Yes, just like what Santa Claus does during Christmas! If the kids were nice, the Easter hare would lay eggs for them.
4. Early Christians used to coat Easter eggs with red paint, as the color symbolized Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. Nowadays of course, eggs are painted with different colors aside from red.
5. So how did the Easter bunny become popular among Americans? Protestant Germans brought the tradition of the Easter bunny to the American shores during the 1700’s.
6. Chocolate bunnies are wildly popular especially in the US. Americans shell out more than $2 billion just for the Easter candies, including candy Easter eggs, Jelly Beans and these chocolatey hoppers.
Most people like to eat the ears of the chocolate bunny, which is followed by the feet and then the tail.
Chocolate bunnies also originated in Germany, but they didn’t become hollow until World War II where cocoa beans were also rationed. Nowadays, Germany has produced over 86 million chocolate bunnies, with half of these being exported to other countries.
7. Pope Gregory I was responsible for merging the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection with pagan traditions of rebirth, becoming the Easter that we know today. At the time when these two traditions were merged, early Christians still kept the pagan symbols of Easter — eggs and rabbits (or hares).