A rabbit symbolizes the start of springtime around Easter. Other symbolic meanings associated with a rabbit include lunar cycle fertility and longevity, but these meanings are not as enduring as the Easter symbol.
The symbol of an Easter rabbit became popular during the Christian era. A rabbit was a symbol of rebirth, resurrection and vitality. The paintings of Jesus, Mary and white rabbits during the Renaissance era also augmented a rabbit's symbol in Christianity. One such famous painting is Titan's painting of the infant Jesus with Madonna and a white rabbit. Because it was believed that female rabbits could give birth to offspring without any male impregnation, white rabbits were used as a symbol of purity and chastity in paintings like Titan's painting. This painting also reinforced the idea of the Easter Bunny.