why does a rabbit bring easter eggs
The hare was a popular motif in medieval church art. In ancient times, it was widely believed (as by, and
) that the hare was a. The idea that a hare could reproduce without loss of led to an association with the, with hares sometimes occurring in and paintings of the Virgin and. It may also have been associated with the, as in the motif. Eggs, like rabbits and, are of. Since 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. Rabbits and hares are both prolific breeders. Female hares can conceive a second litter of offspring while still pregnant with the first. This phenomenon is known as. mature sexually at an early age and can give birth to several litters a year (hence the saying, "to breed like rabbits" or "to breed like bunnies"). It is therefore not surprising that rabbits and hares should become fertility symbols, or that their springtime mating antics should enter into Easter.
In addition, Orthodox churches have a custom of abstaining from eggs during the fast of. The only way to keep them from being wasted was to boil or roast them, and begin eating them to break the fast. [ As a special dish, they would probably have been decorated as part of the celebrations. Later, German retained the custom of eating colored eggs for Easter, though they did not continue the tradition of. Eggs boiled with some flowers change their color, bringing the spring into the homes, and some over time added the custom of. Many Christians of the to this day typically dye their red, the color of blood, in recognition of the blood of the sacrificed (and, of the renewal of life in springtime). Some also use the color green, in honor of the new foliage emerging after the long-dead time of winter. The art of decorating eggs for Easter, known as, dates to ancient, pre-Christian times.
Similar variants of this form of artwork are seen amongst other eastern and central European cultures. The idea of an egg-giving hare went to the U. S. in the 18th century. Protestant German immigrants in the Oschter Haws ). Hase means "hare", not rabbit, and in Northwest European folklore the "Easter Bunny" indeed is a. According to the legend, only good children received gifts of colored eggs in the nests that they made in their caps and before Easter. There's no story in the Bible about a long-eared, cotton-tailed creature known as the Easter Bunny. Neither is there a passage about young children painting eggs or hunting for baskets overflowing with scrumptious Easter goodies. And real rabbits certainly don't lay eggs. Why are these traditions so ingrained in Easter Sunday? And what do they have to do with the resurrection of Jesus?
Well, to be frank, nothing. Bunnies, eggs, Easter gifts and fluffy, yellow chicks in gardening hats all stem from pagan roots. These tropes were incorporated into the celebration of Easter separately from the Christian tradition of honoring the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead. According to the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture, the origin of the celebration - and the origin of the Easter Bunny - can be traced back to 13th-century, pre-Christian Germany, when people worshiped several gods and goddesses. The Teutonic deity Eostra was the goddess of spring and fertility, and feasts were held in her honor on the Vernal Equinox. Her symbol was the rabbit because of the animal's high reproduction rate. Spring also symbolized new life and rebirth; eggs were an ancient symbol of fertility. According to History. com, Easter eggs represent Jesus' resurrection.
However, this association came much later when Roman Catholicism became the dominant religion in Germany in the 15th century and merged with already ingrained pagan beliefs. The first Easter Bunny legend was documented in the 1500s. By 1680, the first story about a rabbit laying eggs and hiding them in a garden was published. These legends were brought to the United States in the 1700s, when German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania Dutch country, according to the Center for Children's Literature and Culture. The tradition of making nests for the rabbit to lay its eggs in soon followed. Eventually, nests became decorated baskets and colorful eggs were swapped for candy, treats and other small gifts. So, while you're scarfing down chocolate bunnies ( ) and marshmallow chicks this Easter Sunday, think fondly of this holiday's origins and maybe even impress your friends at your local Easter egg hunt.
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