April 18, 2024

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Christians will celebrate Easter today to observe when Jesus
Christ resurrected from the dead. Yet along with the sacred observance
will come a more secular American tradition where many children will
leave out baskets with the playful expectation that the Easter Bunny
will come.

According to popular lore, it is the Easter Bunny who
provides goodies (usually chocolate candy or ornate eggs) to children
who leave their baskets out the night before. Many candy companies have
taken advantage of the popular tradition and offer Easter Bunny-themed
candy for that part of the year.

However, where did this tradition of a bunny that gave out eggs come from?

to the History Channel’s website, the precise origins of this
non-biblical Easter figure are unclear but may have roots in German
immigrant communities of the 18th century. “According to some sources,
the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German
immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition
of an egg-laying hare called ‘Osterhase’ or ‘Oschter Haws’,” reads an
entry on its site.

“Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S.
and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include
chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets
replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the
bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.”

The concept of a
bunny and eggs likely derives from the ancient tradition of rabbits
being symbols of fertility. This ancient concept can still be seen today
with such clichés as “they reproduce like bunnies.”

Happy Easter,

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