What does the Easter Bunny have to do with Easter?

Written by Damian O’Keeffe on February 16, 2016
Easter Bunny & Egg Decoration

 

Have you ever wondered what a rabbit and a basket of painted eggs have to do with Easter? You wouldn’t be the first. Rabbits don’t even lay eggs, right?! Well, wonder no more, we’re here to help unravel the mystery.

As you might have guessed, the Easter Bunny and eggs has little to do with the Christian tradition of commemorating the day Jesus rose from the dead.

It’s believed the Easter Bunny dates back to 13th century Germany where many people worshipped many different gods. One celebration was in honor of Eostre, goddess of fertility, who was represented by a rabbit, which makes sense given the long-eared rodent’s ability to breed.

Although this is only one theory, there are others.

The symbolism of the egg makes more sense, obviously they represent new life. It would seem, over time, the two traditions melded and a bunny ended up delivering eggs in a basket, because what else would a rabbit deliver eggs in?

It‘s more likely the reason for a basket is that it was a replacement for a nest that would hold the decorated eggs.

It is also widely accepted that German immigrants introduced an egg-laying hare into America.

It’s possible that the decoration of eggs dates back even further than the Easter Bunny, though as it relates to Easter, it is thought that eggs were decorated as they were not normally consumed during Lent, so instead the unused eggs would be painted.

Over time, the easter bunny began to deliver candy and chocolate and Easter now comes second only to Halloween in terms of candy sales.

The Easter Parade in New York began over a century ago. It is said to have started when people began to gather along Fifth Avenue to watch the rich and upper-crust parade in their new spring outfits following Easter church services. And it’s been going in various forms ever since.

If you want to start a new tradition, why not jump aboard Hornblower’s special Easter Cruises:

Easter Sunday Brunch Jazz Cruise
Boarding: 12:30pm | Cruising 1:00pm-3:00pm
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Easter Sunday Dinner Cruise
Boarding: 4:30pm | Cruising 5:00pm-8:00pm
Book now >