Historians believe that the Easter Bunny originated from ancient pagan goddess Eostra, who was symbolized by a hare. Pagans celebrated Eostra during the springtime because she symbolized fertility. The Easter egg as a symbol of new life became closely related to rabbits, known for their bountiful reproduction.Continue Reading
Christianity eventually assimilated many of these pagan traditions into the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The tradition of painting or coloring Easter eggs began as early as the 13th century. This tradition combined with the hare as a symbol of fertility to create the Easter Bunny, the rabbit that brings eggs to children. The Easter Bunny first appeared in a German written text in the 15th century and was called Osterhase, the egg-laying hare. Children celebrated Easter by making nests for the rabbit where it could deliver its colored eggs.
German immigrants brought this tradition to the United States in the 1700s when they settled in Pennsylvania. Eventually the egg-bringing Easter Bunny expanded throughout the United States. Instead of just bringing eggs, the bunny started also bringing children candy and gifts. This tradition snowballed into popular Easter egg hunts and Easter egg-rolling contests such as the White House Easter Egg Roll established in 1878.Learn more about Easter