How Did the Bunny and Colored Eggs Become Part of Easter?
April 02, 2012
This particular critter is very near and dear to my heart. When my son was a small fellow, he had a little interest in Santa, but he was totally enthralled by the Easter Bunny! I mean, this cute furry fella would not only bring baskets of candy; he would send you on a most exciting scavenger hunt! He was the most interactive of all those childhood characters and brought sheer joy into our household.
So, where did he come from? It appears all the way back in 13th century Germany, there was a goddess, Eostre, who represented spring. She was depicted as a beautiful maiden who carried a basket containing eggs dyed red and couple of small rabbits (both the red and the rabbits symbolic of fertility and new life in the spring). By 16th century Germany, there were accounts about a bunny who each spring rewarded with eggs. This tradition came to America with German immigrants who settled in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s. The bunny soon became known as the "Oschter Haws" and he would leave red (for fertility) and green (for spring) colored eggs in the bonnets and caps of good little girls and boys.
What a lovely old tradition that has been adapted through the years to fit our more modern society. May it continue to bring smiles for generations to come. Happy Easter!