He might not be in the Bible, but the bunny is a main staple of Easter in many Christian homes. He comes around to hide eggs for good children and leave them Easter baskets with little treats and toys. However, how the Easter bunny became associated with the holiday is lesser known. Below are 10 facts about the magical creature who rewards well-behaved children.
1. The tradition of painting and decorating Easter eggs dates back to the 18th century when German people emigrated to America and brought their stories, History.com reported. Rabbits represent fertility and rebirth, which is also associated with springtime. Coincidentally -- or not so much -- eggs also symbolize fertility and rebirth.
2. When the German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania, they called the Easter bunny -- a hare that laid eggs -- “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” The children of the immigrants would create nests so the Easter bunny would have a place to lay its eggs, which came out in different colors. Eventually, the nests involved into baskets and gifts and candy were placed in them.
3. The term Easter bunny wasn’t used until 1900.
4. There’s some controversy with the Easter bunny since its traditions have pagan origins. Christians explain the eggs represent Jesus Christ’s resurrection.
5. Some believe the Easter bunny and eggs are derived from the pagan holiday Eostre.
6. The New York City Easter parade began in the mid-1800s. It continues today on Fifth Avenue from 49th Street to 57th Street.
7. Aside from Halloween, Easter is the best candy-selling holiday. The jellybean became involved in the 1930s and the Peeps were thrown in the mix during the 1950s.
8. Chocolate Easter bunnies became popular in the 1890s and also come from Germany. The first was displayed in a drugstore by Robert L. Strohecker and stood at five feet tall, Smithsonian magazine wrote.
9. Most chocolate Easter bunnies are hollow because they’re easier to eat.
10. Like with Santa Claus and milk and cookies, children leave carrots out for the Easter bunny since he’s famished from hopping all over.
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