The Easter Bunny has its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore. The hare and the rabbit were the most fertile animals known and they served as the symbols of new life in the spring season.
The bunny as an Easter symbol appears to have its origins in Germany, where it is first mentioned in German writings in the 1500s. The first edible Easter Bunnies were made in Germany and were made of pastry and sugar.
The Easter Bunny was introduced to this country by German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country in the 1700s.
The arrival of the “Oschster Haws” was considered “childhood’s greatest pleasure” next to a visit fromChrist-Kindel on Christmas Eve. The children believed that if they were good the “Ochster Haws” would lay a nest of colored eggs.
The children would build their nests in a secluded place in the home, the barn or the garden. The boys would use their caps and the girls their bonnets to make the nests. The use of elaborate Easter baskets would come later as the tradition of the Easter Bunny would spread throughout the country.
Remember all this as you bite off the ears of your chocolate bunny!
Source: The story of the Easter Bunny
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