Have you ever wondered where the Easter bunny comes from?
While the link between bunny rabbits and Easter seems tenuous at best, we all know it’s the time of year when we start seeing images of our long-eared, white-furred, friend plastered all over shop windows.
But how did the two become synonymous, and why on Earth are there eggs involved?
Well, the exact origins aren’t clear, but many of the speculations come from the Northern Hemisphere, when Easter time signals the beginning of spring.
Some accounts claim it’s linked to the Pagan goddess and festival of spring, both named Eostre.
Rabbits, known to breed like, well, rabbits; and eggs, are both symbols of fertility and good fortune ahead of the most bountiful season of the year. Goddess Eostre was also said to transform her pet bird into a rabbit to entertain children.
But then the Madonna of the Rabbit was painted in 1530, and depicts the virgin Mary with a white rabbit, which signifies fertility and purity.
It gives the rabbit a clear link to religion, and perhaps points to the fact that baby Jesus would have been conceived around Easter.
Sixteenth century German text also makes reference to the Easter bunny.
And others simply speculate that we’ve naturally come to associate Easter with rabbits, purely because of how many more hoppers there are around spring time.
We may never know the truth…