About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The origin of the Easter Bunny

Photo from Wikipedia Commons
Have you ever wondered about the Easter bunny? How is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus connected to a rabbit with a basket full of colorful eggs? We know many Christian holidays incorporated the rites of ancient holidays.

The Easter bunny evolves from a mythic German goddess named Ēostre or Ostara who was the Germanic Goddess of Springtime. According to the Encyclopedia Mythica, "In ancient Anglo-Saxon myth, Ostara is the personification of the rising sun. In that capacity she is associated with the spring and is considered to be a fertility goddess. She is the friend of all children and to amuse them she changed her pet bird into a rabbit. This rabbit brought forth brightly colored eggs, which the goddess gave to the children as gifts. From her name and rites the festival of Easter is derived."

However recent research suggests that the Ostara was potentially invented by the monk Venerable Bede in 750 A.D. According to Wikipedia, “Ēostre is only found in writing by Bede in De temporum ratione, where Bede states that during Ēosturmōnaþ (the equivalent to the month of April) feasts were held in Eostre's honor among the pagan Anglo-Saxons, but had died out by the time of his writing, replaced by the Christian "Paschal month" (a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus).”

Today Christianity uses Easter eggs to symbolize the empty tomb from which a bird hatches alive; a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave, and that those who believe will also experience eternal life.

Related articles:
- How birds color their eggs naturally http://bit.ly/IBMw69
- A look at the Easter Egg Tradition http://goo.gl/CpUvg
- Bird of the Week: The Peep http://goo.gl/Hw0icC
- When do birds begin nesting? http://bit.ly/GGuobs
- How Do Birds Lay Eggs? http://bit.ly/H8omO0
- Do birds have belly buttons? http://bit.ly/GVqhpT

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