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The Story of the Easter Bunny

The symbol of the Easter Bunny originally came from the pagan festival of Eastre or Eostre – the goddess of fertility. This festival celebrated replenishment, rebirth, the renewal of life, and spring. The consort of Eastre was the symbol of fertility, a hare. According to some stories, Eastre gave the hare the ability to lay colorful eggs (an ancient symbol of fertility) once a year.
In Germany it was believed that the Hare would lay colorful eggs to all the well behaved children who had left a nest for the animal. The children would build their nests in secluded places out of their bonnets or caps and excitedly await the arrival of the “Oschter Haws”. It is believed that the Germans brought this tradition with them as they migrated to North America during the 18th century. However the celebration of Easter and the rabbit were not widely celebrated in America until after the Civil War.
As time passed, the traditional took on some new forms and by 19th century America the Easter Hare morphed into the Easter Bunny and children’s nests of caps and bonnets became baskets which are now filled with more than just colorful eggs. Baskets now include chocolate candies, jelly beans, marshmallow peeps and other assorted goodies. And the holiday is celebrated by Christians and Non-Christians alike as a celebration of life and spring.

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