What's the story with the Easter Bunny? A rabbit who comes to your home and lays brightly colored eggs at Easter seems a little out of the ordinary doesn't it? Though every year millions of children are mystified and elated with goodies left behind by this fabled creature. Below is a brief history of the origins of this tradition and how it has evolved over time.
The Easter Bunny is said to have its origins in Germany as early as the 1600's. Known as the "Osterhas" the lored hare shares many similarities with St. Nicholas. At Easter, children would build brightly colored nests in secluded corners of their homes. If the children were well behaved the hare would come and lay brightly colored eggs for them. Hold on a minute, hares don't lay eggs! Though contrary to what we learned in biology class this magical hare would. The story goes that eggs as well as hares were symbols of fertility expressing a feeling of new beginnings associated with the Spring season. Since they were forbidden during the Lenten season people welcomed the abundance of eggs at Easter. For these reasons the Easter bunny is associated with eggs.The Osterhas first came to America in the 1700's. German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania brought the tradition along with them and it spread throughout the country.As time progressed the children's Easter nests evolved into baskets. Hiding the nests transformed into the Easter egg hunts. And thankfully, children now receive eggs made of chocolate and candy as opposed to real ones.The first edible Easter bunnies were pastries made in Germany in the 1800's. Today there are countless variations, from Chocolate to yeast bread.
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