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Categories: Culture

A Brief History of Easter Bunny and Eggs

When the sweet smell of the air brings the vibe of Easter, I often wonder why is it the ‘Easter-Bunny’ and not the chicken? “What does the rabbit have to do with Easter?” If you’ve ever stumble upon this question, then ‘A Brief History of Easter Bunny and Eggs’ is the answer.

In this article, we will take a moment to cherish the Easter origin, story of the bunny & eggs and more. Stick till the very end to find the fascinating truth!

History of Easter Bunny Goes Way Back To Teutons

I believe only a few of you are familiar with “Easter Dark History” and known about the story of Ostara.

Despite the resurrection of Jesus Christ – the saviour and the light of the world, is considered to be the reason of celebrating the Easter Sunday, there are other stories that point us back to Teutonic pagan rituals.

Teutons Were The Powerful Soldiers Back in 5th Century B.C.
Image: Dissolve

According to Digintrigue, Teutons are considered as tribes with powerful military forces. They are said to inhabit Great Britain in 5th-century B.C., sailing through the North Sea on wooden canoes.

Before that, Teutons lived on the Jutland Peninsula (Denmark) and are considered as the ancestors of Anglo-Saxons. Similarly, Teutons have had a very unique way of observing time as well as a highly developed polytheistic religion which remained as Anglo-Saxons heathen heritage.

One of the central places they worshipped was reserved for Ostara. Their way of tribute to the goddess as well as the symbolism that surrounded her implies the high possibility of heathen rites being the cradle of Easter.

Eostre – Goddess Responsible For ‘History of Easter Bunny’

Mythologically, Ostara – the ancient goddess of fertility as well as spring and dawn, is otherwise known as Eostre/Eastre, which can give us the slightest hint of how Easter originated right?

While many believed that she had a fond of children, some also curate from the study that she’d the power to command the animals.

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Ostara – Goddess Responsible For History of Easter Bunny & Eggs

In fact, to the followers of Ostara and Eastre herself, rabbits meant a sacred animal. Eggs, especially the coloured ones, were her symbol.

Hypothetically, she could turn herself into the rabbit at her own will, while some claim that she could alter her appearance only during dawn.

The belief doesn’t end there. People even admit that she can transform only once a year – at the dawn of vernal equinox. A complex form of rabbit’s head on a female body part summons the changeling Ostara.

An Orthodoxical Story of Easter Bunny

Like I mentioned earlier, goddess Eostre had so much love towards children that they followed her anywhere she went.

The story presents the Eostre as a magical lady who loved to sing and entertain kids.

Once when she was sitting along with some children, a beautiful songbird sat on her hand. That was the moment when she whispers a few words and turns the bird into her favourite animal, bunny.

Children were delighted until they find out the unhappy creature full anguish, shivering with fear.

The bird-transformed-rabbit could no longer sing the song of joy, rather the mute creature had to defend itself from the wild animal or even humans.

Then those kids begged mercy for the rabbit and turn it back to a bird. But Eostre felt her power diminished so she could not undo what she’d done.

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Thus, the bird remained rabbit, the majority of the year until Eostre replenished her power to the fullest at the beginning of spring.

It is the time when the rabbit turns to a bird and lay its eggs.

For being blessed, with the help of the children – the rabbit rejoices to reward the kids with its egg.

That’s the answer why the Easter Bunny brings eggs.

Why Do We Have Easter Eggs?

Many of us prefer chocolate eggs at Easter, but did you know that the eating of eggs was prohibited by church leaders during the ‘Holy Week’?

Children love to play Egg hunt during Easter
Image: Portsmouth

From the onset of the Easter week, eggs are decorated and gifted to the children as a gift. It has become a tradition which almost everyone finds joyful.

The Victorians adapted the Holy Week eggs culture, making it little more precisive by covering the Easter gifts with satin wrapped cardboard filled with colourful eggs.

What Does The Easter Bunny Have To Do With Jesus?

The Holy Week eggs is also a common practice in the Passover Seder – a ritual feast marking the Jewish Holiday Passover. The hard-boiled egg dipped in saltwater is the symbol of the Passover sacrifice offered at the Temple in Jerusalem.

This has now become a tradition that many people enjoy today. Meanwhile, people strongly believe that colouring the eggs enhances its value.

In Germany, the United States, England and many other countries, Egg Rolling game is played during Easter. Children roll eggs down the hillsides. It is taken as a symbol of rolling the stones of the tomb of Jesus.

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Barack Obama enjoys Egg Rolling with his kid in White House
Image: Urbandaddy

The Easter Egg Hunt Games Around The World

Children love to hunt this colour Easter egg which has been a major attraction of the festival.

In the United States and the majority of the countries, the Easter Sunday is celebrated playing this traditional egg game. The basic idea of the game is to hide eggs and candy, letting the children find them.

Southern Louisiana people practices this festival “Pocking Eggs” where the winner eats the eggs of the losers in every round.

In the North of England, hard-boiled eggs are given and every player hits other’s egg with their own. This game is commonly named as “Egg Tapping”, “Egg Jarping” or “Egg Dumping” where the loser eats the eggs.

Every year in Easter, Annual Egg Dumping World Championship is held at the Peterlee Cricket Club, England, United Kingdom.

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While in the majority of the European countries like Lebanon, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Hungary and Croatia, the festival is recalled as “Tucanje”.

Eierpecken or Ostereiertitschen is the name of the Easter Egg hunt in Switzerland, Austria and Bavaria.

Easter eggs in Switzerland are delivered by a cuckoo and by a fox in Germany.

Other games played during Easter includes Egg Rolling, Egg Dance, and Pace Egg Plays.

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I mostly find the egg dance interesting and fun to play. In this game, we laid the eggs on the floor and dance without damaging any of them. It was originated from Germany; the British call it “The Hop-Egg”.

That’s all for now. If you find the history of easter bunny and eggs interesting then make sure to share it with your friends too.

Also, subscribe to Hoodoo Child for more interesting Art, History and Culture.

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About Me

Rojina Poudel – nicknamed Roze S, is a student of Arts in Classical Civilization, plus a bonifide reader, writer, and a housewife, who loves to bake, cook, sing, and dance. She has a keen interest in study of history, arts, culture, psychology, evolution and of course NETFLIX.

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