The Origin of the Easter Bunny

Easter Bunny

The origins of the Easter bunny are somewhat of a mystery. One thought is that they stem from an old pagan tradition celebrating the goddess of fertility. The name of the Germanic fertility goddess was Ēostre.  The sacred animal was the hare. Hares were profuse breeders; hence they became a symbol of fertility.  Over time the hare was replaced by a rabbit that became known as the Easter Bunny who hid colored eggs at Easter.

Why Easter eggs?easter craft ideas

Pagan Anglo-Saxons had held feasts in Ēostre’s honour, but this tradition was replaced by the Christian Paschal month, a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.  Easter is a religious holiday and the Easter eggs are a representation of Jesus’ emergence from the tomb to his resurrection.  Eggs were and still are representative of new life and the decorating of eggs for Easter dates back many hundreds of years to the 13th century. Churches encouraged their followers to abstain from eating eggs and to paint and decorate them instead, during the time of Lent… then allowing them to eat them once again on Easter.The origins of Easter
Easter is a very important time on the religious calendar and is celebrated widely around the world, having grown out of the ancient symbol of fertility and new life.  The egg is associated with spring and “fertility”, “rebirth” and “the beginning”.  With a rise in Christianity across Western Europe, many pagan customs and beliefs were adopted into Christian tradition. The egg was a symbol of new life represented by the Resurrection.

Easter Traditions across the Atlantic

Immigrants brought their traditions with them when they decided to migrate to new lands.   New continents were being discovered and new traditions were developing. The earliest Easter Eggs were painted with different vegetable dyes and were duck or hen eggs.  Flowers and baskets were a later addition.  These varying customs eventually spread, along with the fabled Easter Rabbit. These customs developed into the famous morning Easter hunt for multicoloured Easter Eggs, along with other candy ones.  Decorated Easter baskets became essential to collect these special eggs, replacing the original nests. Carrots are also sometimes left out the night before to entice the hungry Easter bunny to add additional eggs and so that he would not get hungry while jumping around the garden.Easter bunny

Family Easter fun

The painting of Easter eggs is still a strong tradition and quite fun to do with children. It’s easy to do, but only paint hard boiled cooked eggs.
Easter crafts
Children love to paint and cut out Easter shaped eggs and decorate Easter egg cartons along with straw like decoration.
Easter craft projects
This is a picture of my 3-year-old grandson’s decorated painted cardboard Easter egg carton.  We had so much fun using various colours and blending different colours together. Some of them we placed in a cut-out green basket, rolled together, that stood up on the table. We had a lovely three hours of bonding, chatting, and painting while he was using his skills of drawing, painting and cutting out shapes which he does extremely well. I allowed him to experiment and explore his creative side. It’s such a fun activity to do for Easter.

Easter craft projects

The origins of the famous Fabergé  Egg

Other Easter traditions…

Chocolate eggs and hot-cross buns.

EASTER IN FRANCE

Chocolate Easter Eggs

Easter is celebrated in France just as in so many other countries around the world, even though some traditions may vary.

In France Joyeuses Pâques! means “Happy Easter!”

When French chocolatiers start making their delightfully carved chocolate creations, wonderful displays start appearing in their front shop windows. When this happens, you can expect that Easter is going to be right around the corner.

French chocolate is deliciously smooth and will tickle and tantalize your taste buds for more.  This is why the French love eating them.

The delicate chocolate chickens, eggs and fish are filled inside with even more delightful bonbon surprises and they are almost too beautiful to eat.Chocolate Easter Eggs

Chocolates begin to appear in every chocolate store, months before Easter as the French people just adore them… along with chocolate hens, bells with wings and wonderful varieties of friandises.  The very first chocolate eggs were produced in France and Germany during the 19th Century.

Easter Traditions in France

The French people have a Fish symbol for their Easter Season, much as the Rabbit is a symbol of Easter in other countries across the world.  The French fish is called The Poisson d’Avril or the “ April Fish.”  French children love to play at sticking as many paper fish onto the backs of as many unsuspecting adults as possible. The children then run away screaming “Poisson d’Avril!”

Flying Bells

Another French Easter Tradition is the Cloche Volant or Flying Bell.

On Holy Thursday, all the church bells in France are silenced. The legend goes that all the church bells fly to Rome to see the Pope, then on Easter morning the bells return from Rome, just in time to ring out across France declaring the joyous news that Jesus has risen again.

The Origins of Easter Traditions

Easter Decorations to Make