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All about the Easter Bunny

Easter BunnyCheck out a bit of Easter Bunny history, including the newest tradition from Australia - the Easter Bilby, along with some clip art Easter bunnies to decorate with, and chocolate bunny recipes and cuddly Easter Bunny e-cards to spread the joy of Easter to your online friends...

The First Easter Bunnies

The Easter Bunny evolved from a number of traditions, some dating back thousands of years.

The earliest humans noticed the link between the cycles of women that were linked with the birth of children and the cycles of the moon. In the oldest records from civilizations in Asia, the hare was the symbol of the moon.

So it followed that the moon and the rabbit both became the symbol of rebirth or life after death. Today, Easter is celebrated around the time of the Paschal Full Moon in Spring.

Egyptian rabbits were symbols of fertility
Egyptian hare

In ancient Egypt, the rabbit was also recognized as a symbol of fertility and renewal. This belief spread to the Greeks and then to the Romans who shared it with the rest of Europe.

Later, the Celts and other early European groups celebrated the festival of Eastre, a goddess of the dawn associated with springtime. Her symbol was the rabbit, the most fertile animal and a symbol of new life. Many people think that the modern feast of Easter developed from springtime feasts to honor Eastre.

The Medieval Easter Bunny

During the Middle Ages, the rabbit also became associated with chicken eggs, since both were symbols of fertility and rebirth in the spring. The Easter Bunny as a holiday symbol delivering candy and eggs is thought to have started around that time in Germany.

Germany is also where the first edible Easter bunnies were made during the early 1800s, when baked pastry bunnies first appeared. Together with gummy candies shaped like eggs, (which is where jelly beans came from), the treats were placed in straw nests in secluded areas of the house or in the garden for children to find.

The custom changed over time and eventually the Easter Bunny began to deposit eggs - in children's shoes. It may well have been the world's first scavenger hunt!

The Easter Bunny Comes to America

German painter's Young Hare, 1502
Young Hare, 1502
by German artist
Albrecht Dürer

When German people came to the United States, they brought their customs with them and soon everyone was waiting for the Easter Bunny to arrive with colored eggs, chocolate bunnies and jelly beans!

Children's shoes were not big enough to hold all of the goodies, so Easter baskets became the popular place to hide holiday treats.

The Australian Easter Bilby

Elsewhere, when Europeans began to settle in Australia, they found that there were no rabbits, so they brought rabbits with them.

Since rabbits are the symbol of fertility, they did their rabbit duty and produced a lot of new rabbits. Eventually, there were so many rabbits that they became a problem.

The bilby is Australia's Easter Bunny
Bilby, the Easter
Bunny's cousin
from Australia.

Having this pesky rodent as a symbol for Easter celebrations just was not a good idea, so a new symbol was born. The bilby is an endangered animal in Australia. It looks almost like a rabbit...and then it was decided. The Easter Bunny would retire and the Easter Bilby took the job.

Today, if you travel to Australia you'll find plenty of chocolate Easter Bilby candy and Easter Bilby cards!

also see in Pets -> Bunny RabbitsBunny rabbit

 


Easter Bunny History

Easter Bunny History
The Symbols of Easter


Easter Bilby

Wikipedia - the Easter Bilby


Easter Bunny Clip Art

Easter Bunny Clip Art
Easter Clip Art Resources at Chiff.com


Candy Easter Bunnies

Chocolate Egg Bunny

Marshmallow Easter Bunnies & Chicks


Easter Bunny e-cards

Easter Bunny e-Cards and Jokes
Easter e-Card resources at Chiff.com


Related Web Resources:

Chiff Articles & Resources:
Other Web Resources:
  • Jelly Bean Nests

  • Easter Basket Crafts

  • Easter Basket Cupcake

  • Fabric Easter Baskets

  • Easter Baskets Fun

  • Easter Basket Craft

  • New York Easter Parade

  • Weave An Easter Basket


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