The surprising origins of the Easter Bunny -- it's not what you think!
The Easter Bunny is a symbol of Easter that is popular in western culture, especially with children. According to folklore, the Easter Bunny hides Easter eggs for children to find on Easter morning. However, the association between a rabbit and the resurrection of Jesus Christ appears tenuous at best, and the Easter Bunny has been accused of having pagan origins. But what is the truth?
Rejoice! The beloved Easter Bunny has very Christian origins.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Rabbits are common and found on every continent except Antarctica. Rabbits are also prolific breeders, especially in the spring when they are most commonly seen interacting with one another. As a result of their fertility, rabbits have long been associated with spring and with new life. Even the Greeks pointed out this connection.
However, the Christian tradition of the Easter Bunny has distinctly Christian origins.
The ancient Greeks thought rabbits could reproduce as virgins. Such a belief persisted until early medieval times when the rabbit became associated with the Virgin Mary, who we know became pregnant without knowing man.
During the medieval period, rabbits began appearing in illuminated manuscripts and paintings where the Virgin Mary was depicted, serving as an allegorical illustration of her virginity.
The Easter Bunny was first popularized as a symbol of the season by the German Protestants. It is likely they were the ones to invent the myth of the Easter Bunny for their children. Even in earliest folklore, the Easter Bunny came as a judge, hiding decorated eggs for well-behaved children.
The Easter Bunny followed German immigrants to the American colonies in the 18th century and the folklore spread across the United States.
The notion that the Easter Bunny is a pagan symbol developed in the 19th century. In 1835, Jacob Grimm, the popular collector of fairy tales, suggested that the Easter Bunny came from primitive German pagan traditions. Once Grimm started the rumor, it began to spread, refined to suggest the Easter Bunny comes from the Saxon Goddess Eostre.
However, there is no direct evidence of a pagan correlation. The first intimation of a connection arose from Jacob Grimm, and although he was a folklorist, he had no hard evidence other than his own speculation.
Conversely, there is considerable documentation that the rabbit was once associated with virginity, the Virgin Mary, and with the season itself, in a Christian context.
As a result, we must conclude, the Easter Bunny is a distinctly Christian symbol, and does not have pagan origins as occasionally claimed by those who despise the popular children's myth.
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2018
Say 'No' to Corruption. That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.
More Lent & Easter
'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead'
Easter / Lent News
Have you taken the Lent Quiz yet? If NOT, please click the button below to take the quiz. Otherwise, scroll down and check your answers! ... continue reading
Each and every day we are called on to become closer to God. We can answer that call with our actions and our prayers. This Lenten Season ... continue reading
Lent is a time to face our temptations and be converted by the Gospel, Pope Francis said in his Angelus address on the first Sunday of ... continue reading
Let us welcome Lent. In so doing, we will receive the much needed grace it offers and be made ready to celebrate ... continue reading
Here are some fast facts about Ash Wednesday and Lent you might not know. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Are Sundays part of ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- British Court rules: Bermuda's actions to defend marriage will stand
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, February 21, 2018
- Are your cleaning products making you sick?
- Daily Reading for Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 HD Video
- St. Severian: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 21, 2018
- Cleaning products could be damaging to your health HD Video
- Pope Francis accepts bishop's resignation
- St. Patrick HD
- Deadly Flu Season: Vaccine only 36 percent effective during worst season in years HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education