So a few days ago Danielle and I were driving across the bridge and there was a guy dressed up as the Easter bunny. Upon seeing this guy and taking a few pictures we began to wonder where the hell the a rabbit delivering some eggs on the day reserved to christ came from so last few days I have been looking into it and here is what I have come up with.
Bringing Easter eggs seems to have its origins in Alsace and the Upper Rhineland, both then in the Holy Roman Empire, and southwestern Germany, where the practice was first recorded in a German publication in the 1500s . The first edible Easter Eggs were made in Germany during the early 19th century and were made of pastry and sugar.
The Easter Bunny was introduced to the United States by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 18th century. The arrival of the Osterhase was considered one of “childhood’s greatest pleasures”, similar to the arrival of Kris Kringle on Christmas Eve.
According to the tradition, children would build brightly colored nests, often out of caps and bonnets, in secluded areas of their homes. The “Oster Hawse” (Easter Hare is the proper translation) would, if the children had been good, lay brightly colored eggs in the nest. As the tradition spread, the nest has become the manufactured, modern Easter basket, and the placing of the nest in a secluded area has become the tradition of hiding baskets.
Eggs, like rabbits and hares, are fertility symbols of antiquity. Since birds lay eggs and rabbits and hares give birth to large litters in the early spring, these became symbols of the rising fertility of the earth during spring.Eggs were forbidden to Catholics during the fast of lent, which was the reason for the abundance of eggs at Easter time. According to the legend, only good children received gifts of colored eggs in the nests that they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter.
Now there is speculation but not many officail links or ideas behind it but the germanic pagan goddess Ēostre (Eastre) (name of a Teutonic goddess of dawn, spring and fertility) is said to have a feast during the April month and is understood to have a part in the fertility of the newborn child which historians believe has links to the eggs.
Christians with its emphasis on rebirth (through the Resurrection), found it expedient to continue celebrating Eastre’s holiday. Recently however Christians have started to call Easter sunday Resurrection sunday. These tiny clues makes one think about how many cultural influences the bible took in to celebrate certain pagan holidays. What do you think?