Where did the Easter bunny come from?

KUSA - We’re serious, where did the Easter Bunny come from?

This isn’t a birds and the bees question (or rather chickens and bunnies). It’s ‘How did a bunny come to be associated with the resurrection of Jesus Christ?’

And why does the bunny hand out eggs? Where do the eggs even come from?

Now we’re not suggesting that the Easter Bunny is some sinister creature who steals innocent eggs, defaces them with colorful designs and hands them out to unsuspecting children.

… not entirely suggesting it, at least.

Or maybe it’s just the tale of a rabbit-chicken hybrid who came from an unusual-but-loving union, had an unusual talent and tried to find a place for it in the world, as this German ad suggests.

Discovery News reported that the origin of the bunny can be traced back to Germany in the 1200s, back before Christianity took hold and people worshipped multiple gods and goddesses.

The Easter Bunny legend was first documented in the 1500s, and by 1680 the first story about an egg-laying rabbit who then hid the eggs in a garden was published, Discovery News continued.

Some sources say the idea of an egg-laying bunny was brought to America by German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania in the 1700s, History.com said. It was called the “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws” and children made nests for it to lay eggs in.

The tradition spread across the nation, and the rabbit diversified and started giving out chocolate, candy and presents, History.com continued.

…. Probably best not to question where those came from.

Easter eggs have their roots in pagan customs, History.com said. Like rabbits, eggs are an old symbol of new life and were tied to pagan festivals dedicated to spring.

The Christian perspective holds that eggs represent Jesus’s resurrection from his tomb.

And decorating eggs may have come from when they were a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so they were painted as way to mark the end of penance and eaten to celebrate.

And gorging yourself on Easter candy is a relatively new tradition, History.com noted. We bet it’s one of your favorites, though.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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