For centuries, Easter eggs have been delivered by the Easter Bunny within America. Hundreds of years ago, eggs were forbidden during Lent. After Easter, once Lent would end, Christians were again allowed to eat eggs in abundance. But how did the Easter Bunny delivering eggs on Easter tradition come to exist?
To understand this tradition, one first needs to understand the trading behind Easter eggs themselves. Egg decorating dates back to the 13th Century. And, in the 19th Century, Russians began decorating their eggs with jewels and intricate patterns. Eggs represent Christ’s new life. Gifts of eggs at Easter, as a marking of the end of Lent, date back to the medieval period. In fact, King Henry the VIII., at a young age, received a special egg enclosed in a silver case from the Vatican. But how exactly did the Easter Bunny start delivering them?
Well, according to the evidence available, Americans can thank the German immigrants for the Easter Bunny tradition. In Germany, the origin of the Easter Bunny is still mysterious (Rumor has it that the original egg deliverer in Germany was a fox!). Knowing this information, it is easy to put together how the bunny started delivering eggs in the United States. Originally, German children located in Pennsylvania would make nests in their bonnets where the bunnies would lay “colored eggs.” The tradition then spread throughout the United States, which led to yummy treats such as chocolate and candy being delivered on Easter morning. The nests were replaced by baskets, and to this day many baskets still have “Easter grass” that resembles these nests, for the laying of Easter eggs. All this excitement led to Easter Egg hunts, which caught on like wildfire. Adding to the fun are “Easter egg rolls,” where eggs are yes, um, rolled. These Easter egg rolls symbolize rolling away of the stone from Christ’s tomb. Still today, eggs delivered by the bunny participate in the Annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House every Monday after Easter.
Hutton, Ronald, The Stations of the Sun, A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, Oxford University Press, p. 198-203.
Easter is approaching, and once again we are excited to take you on a tour of the world and how it celebrates Easter! Explore the diverse traditions of Easter with us, and don’t miss our series from last year, or from 2016 or 2015. You also will enjoy this wonderful overview of global Easter traditions. Find these posts and more on our Easter Around the World Pinterest board:
Crafty Moms Share: Easter in Bermuda
Crafty Moms Share: Easter in France
Pediatrician with a Passport
Let the Journey Begin
Creative World of Varya
Kori at Home