Easter is the Holiest Day in the Christian Calendar. The Bible talks of many animals such as donkeys, cattle, sheep, etc…. But bunnies??? and egg laying bunnies at that!
The idea of an egg laying hare here in America seems to date back to the early 1700’s from a tale (Osterhase) that traversed the Atlantic with German immigrants.
Like many other holidays that we see, such as Christmas and the German Rose Sunday Festival, the idea of the Easter Bunny arose out of parents wanting to create a tall tale of why the children should be good throughout the year. It seems that the Bunny was considered a “watchman” much like St Claus’s and his Elves with a list of those that were “Naughty or Nice”. If the children were “Nice”, the Easter Bunny would visit the house on Easter Eve.
He would bring eggs, candy, and gifts in a basket to make a nest filled with the goodies in the children’s Easter Bonnet or Caps – hence the idea of baskets, nests, and bonnets!
No one knows exactly how the eggs in the basket came to be, but the idea of using and dyeing eggs seems to date back to the early 13th Century. Some believe the egg was a symbol of fertility and birth, just as the bunny and spring are, while there are other accounts of the preserved, boiled, decorated egg being used in celebrations after the fasting of lent. However the tradition of eggs being symbolic at Easter came about – there is one sure thing – they aren’t going to disappear from the modern Easter tale. According to an article by CNN in 2015, “180 million eggs are ‘eggs-pected’ to be purchased by Americans for dyeing and decorating this year”.
As for the other main goodie in the Easter Nest – Chocolate! – well it has been satisfying sweet-tooth’s for Centuries. Once reserved as a luxury for kings, queens, and emperors billions of chocolate is enjoyed yearly by every-day people today.
So there’s only one question – do you eat the Ears first??? (If you do, you’re not alone – in 2014 89% of Americans did :))
Suggested Activities to celebrate:
Gorge on Chocolate – yes it’s OK to have chocolate for breakfast one day a year 🙂
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