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The Sentinel

The Origin of the Easter Bunny


Easter: a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings. It is known for its religious ties to Jesus and his Death, Suffering, and Resurrection (Paschal Mystery) to save us from sin. Furthermore, Jesus’ resurrection and rebirth correlate with the fabulous spring which also marks a symbol of rebirth as the flowers and plants start to bloom. Although Easter is known for these many things, it is also known for its mascot, the Easter Bunny! For those who don’t know, the Easter bunny is Easter’s mascot who goes around delivering eggs with sweet treats and goodies inside. Every Easter, he scatters these eggs in hopes of children finding them. The history of this magic rabbit may even date back to very early Europe. 

From the beginning, rabbits were viewed as creatures of fertility and prosperity as they bred multiple offspring. Rabbits and hares would be religiously sacrificed or spared in early European times. The original Easter Bunny concept is set to come from pagan traditions where they would celebrate the festival of Eostre, honoring the goddess of spring and fertility correlating with the occurrence of spring’s blooming season. The goddess’s symbolic animal was the rabbit because of its symbolic nature of fertility which corresponds with spring. The Easter Bunny, however, was introduced by immigrant Germans in Pennsylvania, beginning in the 1700s which came from their native land’s traditions. The Bunny would go around laying colorful eggs and delivering candy for good and well-behaved children leading to children creating nests for the Easter Bunny to lay such eggs. They would even leave carrots for them in case they got hungry much like another tradition. The eggs were also symbolic of the coming spring, being used as a metaphor for the blooming fertility in spring and the new life that comes from it. Eventually, it spread all over America and evolved into the holiday we know today with interpretations of the Easter Bunny in media with movies like Hop or Rise of the Guardians. Overall, the Easter Bunny came from its symbolic traits of fertility, prosperity, and new life which correlates with the yearly coming of spring and the religious ties with Easter.  

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Ethan Carvajal, Writer
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