Easter is a holiday that celebrates the coming of spring and the birth of new life. Hence, many images of Easter are synonymous with images of springtime such as flowers, gentle colors and baby animals. Although decorated eggs, Easter baskets (usually filled with candy), and the Easter Bunny are the most iconic Easter imagery, baby animals are also ever-present symbols in the holiday’s décor.
Clearly, rabbits are the most frequently illustrated creatures in Easter merchandise, but other animals—especially lambs and chicks—are also commonly seen. The association between springtime and the birth of baby animals goes back eons, notably because many animals (including sheep and chickens) have a specific season—spring—for breeding and birthing (or hatching) their young. This is a survival mechanism because spring is generally a time a year when the weather is warming up. This gives the baby animals enough time to grow and gain weight over the remainder of spring, summer and fall before gearing up to prepare themselves for a cold winter when food might be scarce.
Below is a list of five animals that are most associated with Easter and also why the holiday is considered to be one of the cutest on the calendar!
Bunny rabbits are the single most popular kind of animal featured on Easter décor. Regaled for the Easter Bunny legend, rabbits are a symbol of fertility and springtime.
Chicks are baby chickens that, upon being hatched, resemble adorable chirping bundles of yellow fuzzy. Because chickens annually hatch eggs during spring, chick imagery has become a big icon of Easter.
Lambs are baby sheep. Regarded as being extremely cute, lambs are featured on a lot of Easter merchandise because they are born in the springtime and therefore their births often coincide with the Easter holiday. Since Easter is symbolic of rebirth, animals born in the spring are prime to be featured on Easter memorabilia.
Butterflies are insects that come in an array of shapes and sizes. Their wings are usually beautifully colored and can include vibrant shades like blue or orange. Butterflies come out in the warm weather—like spring and summer—and that is why they are often featured on Easter memorabilia.
Like chickens, most birds hatch their eggs and raise their young in the spring and summer seasons. Hence, birds are associated with springtime (“the first robin of spring”) and that is why several species might be featured on Easter merchandise.