The History of Easter and the Easter Bunny

According to www.holidays.net, the history of the Easter Bunny was probably associated with the Pagan equinox, where the Saxons celebrated the goddess of Spring and fertility named Eastre.  Eastre’s sacred animal just happened to be a hare.  Around 1,500 years later, children in Germany would be very excited to wait for Oschter Haws, a rabbit who would lay colored eggs in nests.  The tradition of Oschter Haws came to America in the 1800s.  Over the past 200 years, Oschter Haws, also know as the Easter Bunny, has become the most recognized symbol of Easter.

Scholars believe that the pairing of the hare and the egg together in Easter may also have Pagan roots.  During springtime, when days and nights were equal length, the hare was identified with the moon goddess and the egg with the sun god.  Pairing the two together offered a kind of ying yang to spring equinox celebrations.

Easter is a time of springtime festivals.  In Christian countries Easter is celebrated as the religious holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  But the celebrations of Easter have many customs and legends that are pagan in origin and have nothing to do with Christianity.

Did you know that in Greece, children and adults play an egg cracking game called tsougrisma on Easer?  Players attempt to crack their eggs against their friend’s egg; the last person with an un-cracked egg is considered the lucky one.  This is the exact tradition that Irina, the controller here at the hotel, had when she was a child living in Bulgaria.  It sounds like a blast and something I think we might give a try this coming Easter Sunday with my family.  Another interesting fact about Easter is that the Greeks traditionally dye their eggs red, symbolizing the blood and passion of Christ.

As for the colored eggs, www.holidays.net says that eggs have been associated with fertility and springtime festivals and eggs are also features in the ritual of passover.  So, next time you color eggs with family members, go Easter egg hunting with little kids or take them to see the Easter Bunny, remember the story of how the Easter Bunny, and its colorful eggs, came about.

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