Shannon Brady
Writer & Editor

Early spring is time for several important holidays in the world’s major religions, and this year, a fair few of these holidays all fall in March, Easter included. While Christmas may be the most visible Christian holiday, it’s actually Easter that’s most important. Check out our previous articles on Easter for more information about the holiday’s history and customs.

Speaking of Easter customs: similar to Christmas, Easter has a tradition in which parents leave baskets of candy and small toys or other gifts for children to find on Easter morning, with the story that a magical figure left the presents in the night. But while the origins of Santa Claus are easy to trace back to the stories of the real-life Saint Nicholas, plenty of people have to ask about Easter, “What’s with the bunny?”

The Easter Bunny is a prominent figure in the holiday decorations and media, responsible for delivering Easter baskets and, in some versions, the eggs for Easter egg hunts. Unlike Santa Claus, whose design and lore remain relatively consistent between portrayals, the image and behavior of the Easter Bunny is more open to interpretation.

The symbolism of the rabbit is similar to that of the eggs: new life and prosperity, referencing the rabbit’s tendency to produce many offspring in the spring mating season. According to some sources, the character of the Easter Bunny, specifically, came from the tale of “Osterhase,” or “Easter Hare” (its name is sometimes also spelled “Oschter Haws”), brought to America by German immigrants in the seventeenth century.

According to German folktales, Osterhase was a hare that would lay colored eggs for good children to eat on Easter morning. To entice Osterhase, children would build nests for it to lay the eggs in around their yards and homes, decorating them with their own accessories. Over the centuries, this tradition morphed into the custom of decorating colorful Easter baskets.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us anytime at Stay safe and healthy, and Happy Easter!