The Easter Bunny: The Evolution of a Symbol

These biological characteristics of rabbits and hares also encouraged an association with fertility in otherwise disjointed cultures. In Aztec mythology, it was believed that a Centzon Tōtōchtin – A group of 400 god-fearing rabbits who were said to throw drunken parties for the Feast of Plenty.

Even within Europe, different societies used rabbits as icons of fertility and associated them with procreative deities. According to the writings of Venerable Bede (AD 673-735), an Anglo-Saxon deity named Ēostre was accompanied by a rabbit because it symbolizes the rejuvenation and fertility of spring. His festival celebration was in April, and it is popularly believed that through Ēostre we got the name of Easter, as well as the helper of the rabbit. If this is true, it means that long ago Christian iconography appropriated and adopted the symbols of older, pagan religions, combining them with its own.

Does this end the case regarding the origin of the Easter Bunny? The problem with any attempt at a definitive answer is the lack of evidence. Apart from Bede, there is no clear connection between Ēostre and Easter, and Bede cannot be considered a direct source of Anglo-Saxon religion because he wrote from a Christian perspective. Although it may seem highly probable, the connection can never be proven with certainty.

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Much like Alice in Wonderland, the white rabbit can never be fully grasped. Throughout history, rabbits and hares have been considered sacred and the embodiment of cunning. They were associated with the moon’s mysterious purity, purity and extraordinary power of fertility. This highly enigmatic animal continues to elude report with some justice. The further we pursue the origins of the Easter Bunny, the more he disappears into the dark underworld, fueling our desperation for a logical answer to a surprisingly complex puzzle.

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