There are many beloved characters that we use to celebrate the holidays that have absolutely nothing to do with the affiliated religious holiday. I’m pretty sure that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny (who just visited many of us yesterday!), and Liam the Leprechaun are not the minion of God. But these iconic holiday characters are fun and lovable to children. It’s a gateway to the real thing. We help our children embrace the holiday and then, at a later date, we give them all the facts.
But if you are like me, you may not know yourself what Easter Bunnies, baskets filled with colored eggs, and Peeps have to do with the Easter holiday. I’ve done a little research and I think I may have cracked the Easter Bunny code.
The Easter Bunny: The Easter Bunny is essentially the Santa Claus of Easter, but did you know that bunnies represent fertility? Did you know that bunnies could become impregnated with a second litter while already pregnant with a litter? What? There goes all those no worry conjugal visits. Now, I totally get the whole “like bunnies” euphemism. I am also thankful that I am not a bunny, Easter or otherwise.
Eggs: Eggs represent fertility. Again with the fertility, I’m seeing a pattern here. Easter is about fertility and birth, spring and nature. But why do we hide the eggs? Is fertility supposed to be a surprise or maybe considered a gift?
Chicks: Chicks hatch from eggs. Chickens produce eggs. But which happened first? To cover all the bases, both are included in the Easter Bunny celebration. Also, if you believe chickens came first, is a chicken a representative of a mother? Is a chick a child? Could the egg hold the answer to the great mystery of procreation?
Colored Eggs: More fertility and the different colors represent how everyone is different and beautiful in their own way. Plus, they are super fun to decorate and share with loved ones. Colored eggs are beautiful and sharing them spreads joy.
Baskets filled with “grass”: Represents a nest. Birds lay eggs in nests. This symbolizes spring and birth.
Peeps: I have absolutely no idea what whipped marshmallow and sugar have to do with fertility, bunnies, rebirth, or birth. This, my friends, is the great mystery of Easter.
Religion has taught us that Easter is about death and rebirth. Regarding the Easter Bunny tradition, it seems that all symbols point to the fact that it's about fertility and birth. It’s all a celebration of new life and this is how the two tie together. Either way you celebrate, the holiday is beautiful and worth celebrating. Hope your Easter was good yesterday.
What is your explanation for the Easter Bunny tradition?
Image via aussiegall/Flickr