Although Easter is a religious holiday on which Christians commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it also is associated with the Easter Bunny as a result of the combination of pagan and Christian traditions. Pagans historically had springtime festivals celebrating fertility after winter. The rabbit and the egg were traditionally featured as symbols of fertility during the festivals. The first recorded instance of the Easter Bunny and Easter eggs was in Germany during the 1400s. The association of a bunny that delivers decorated eggs and candy expanded to the United States by the 1800s after Germans immigrated to the US.
More about Easter:
- Each Easter holiday, more than 16 billion jelly beans are sold in the US — enough to fill an egg 89 feet (27.13 m) tall and 60 feet (18.29 m) wide.
- German children traditionally would leave out handmade nests for the Easter Bunny to fill with candy and eggs. The nests eventually were replaced by colorful baskets.
- The word "Easter" is thought to be derived from Eostre, the pagan goddess of fertility. Legend states that she cast Lepus the Hare into the heavens and made the animal able to lay eggs yearly.