Thursday, 5 April 2012

Happy Easter


The Easter Bunny or Easter Rabbit is a character depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs, who sometimes is depicted with clothes. In legend, the creature brings baskets filled with colored eggs, candy and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Father Christmas, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holiday. 

Eggs, like rabbits and hares, are fertility symbols of antiquity. Since birds lay eggs and rabbits and hares give birth to large litters in the early spring, these became symbols of the rising fertility of the earth at the Vernal Equinox. Rabbits and hares are both prolific breeders.  It is therefore not surprising that rabbits and hares should become fertility symbols, or that their springtime mating antics should enter into Easter folklore.

The precise origin of the ancient custom of decorating eggs is not known, although evidently the blooming of many flowers in spring coincides with the use of the fertility symbol of eggs—and eggs boiled with some flowers change their color, bringing the spring into the homes. The idea of an egg-laying bunny came to the U.S. in the 18th century. German immigrants in the Pennsylvania Dutch area told their children about the "Osterhas", sometimes spelled "Oschter Haws". "Hase" means "hare", not rabbit, and in Northwest European folklore the "Easter Bunny" indeed is a hare, not a rabbit. According to the legend, only good children received gifts of colored eggs in the nests that they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter.In 1835, Jakob Grimm wrote of long-standing similar myths in Germany itself. Grimm suggested that these derived from legends of the reconstructed continental Germanic goddess *Ostara.



Jette Kuehlewei stands between 9,500 easter eggs at the garden of Christa and Volka Kraft in Saalfeld, Germany, Sunday March 28 2010. Family Kraft have decorated their tree for more than forty years during Easter. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

Have a happy and safe Easter everyone. May the eggs be with you!!!!!

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