Why are bunnies a significant part of Easter?

Carol Kubota
2 min readApr 3, 2021
Photo by Rahim Sofri on Unsplash

Easter is upon us once again, and we are being bombarded by chocolate bunnies, chocolate eggs, and dyed egg kits.

What do bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter?

It all started with the German immigrants. They brought the Easter Bunny, “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws,” to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. Little children made nests in hopes that the Easter Bunny would lay its eggs in their nests. This tradition gave us the Easter basket.

Rabbits became a part of the Easter tradition in the 19th century. They became a symbol of new life because they give birth in the Spring, and their litters are big. This brings us to a legend spread across generations and around the world that the Easter Bunny lays, decorates, and hides eggs. The symbol of the rabbit stems from pagan tradition, the festival of Eostre — a goddess of fertility whose animal symbol was a bunny.

Spring symbolizes new life and rebirth, and therefore, we not only have rabbitts, but we also have eggs which are also ancient symbols of fertility, new life, and rebirth. Iranians have decorated eggs for thousands of years to celebrate the New Year, Nowruz, which occurs in the spring equinox.