Where did the Easter Bunny come from?
The Easter bunny is a modern western symbol of springtime happiness, and millions of children eagerly anticipate the loads of candy this magical rabbit brings each year.
Where in the world did he come from? German tradition tells of the “Osterhase” (Easter hare), a legendary rabbit that laid eggs and hid them in a garden. Rabbits were known for breeding large litters and were therefore considered a symbol of fertility and new life, well-suited to spring and the blessed resurrection. In the 1700s, German immigrants brought the story of the Osterhase to Pennsylvania, where children created nests in which the bunny could lay his eggs. This tradition spread to other parts of America, and eventually the nests became our present-day Easter baskets.
Eggs were also once a pagan symbol of new life, although Christian tradition suggests a reasonable explanation for Easter eggs. Centuries ago, eggs were forbidden food during Lent. When Easter Sunday arrived and the fast was lifted, people marked the occasion by decorating boiled eggs and serving them as a long-awaited treat.
Of course, today many families still decorate eggs, and the Easter bunny still hides them—although they’re more likely the plastic variety filled with chocolate. In fact, Easter is now the second biggest candy-selling holiday next to Halloween. From chocolate bunnies to Cadbury eggs, jelly beans, and bunny-shaped marshmallow Peeps, these icons of Easter in the 21st Century are commemorated as sugary treats across the nation and beyond.
So how will you celebrate Easter this year? Here at Belvedere Plantation, traditions abound with our Bunny Breakfast, Egg Hunt, Resurrection Trail, Candy Cannon, and—new this year—photos with baby animals! We invite you to make our Easter Eggstravaganza a part of your family tradition. It’s an eggcellent way to celebrate the season!