The Osterhase (Easter Bunny)
While Easter itself is traditionally a Christian holiday (which also has some pagan roots), the concept of the Easter bunny is far from what the holiday is supposed to celebrate. So who is the Easter Bunny and where did he or she come from?
The first glimpse of the Easter Bunny as we know it today was first mentioned in Germany in around in the 1500’s. In fact it is a part of German tradition. The legend says that a poor woman from Germany used to decorate coloured eggs for her childred to find in the garden. When the eggs were found, a large hare (rabbit) was seen hopping away. The children thought that it was the hare (rabbit) that left these eggs. This legend is thought to be the origin of the Easter Bunny. The concept of the Easter Bunny was then introduced into American folklore by German settlers during the 1700’s who arrived in Pennsylvania. The concept evolved, spread and expanded into what we know today.
Osterhase as you have probably guessed it means Easter Hare in German. In folklore, the Osterhase was almost seen a little bit like Santa Clause. He was the judge of the children and would decide if they had been good or bad. If they were good, he would bring them coloured eggs and sometimes toys. If they were bad, they would get nothing. The children would leave carrots in the garden to try and entice the hare which could be why people now leave coloured eggs in their gardens. The symbol of the hare or rabbit itself represents rebirth and transformation as they are well known for fertility and breeding so it is no surprise that it has been linked with a Christian holiday representing the same concept.
Easter itself is celebrated in many cultures in many ways with one common element. It is a time for family to come together. So no matter which tradition you are celebrating this year, here are some creepy easter bunny photos I found on the internet all courtesy of wickedhorror.com! Happy Easter!
Images belong to Wicked Horror
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