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The Origins Of The Easter Bunny

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Two week old bunnies photographed by Sandy Huffaker

Easter is just a few days away. We think about coloring eggs, treasure hunts, and bunnies. I began to wonder where the  tradition of the Easter bunny came from.

After a little research, I discovered that the Easter bunny originated with a pagan festival. Eastre, was a pagan goddess whose earthly form was a rabbit. In pre-Christian fertility lore, The hare and rabbit were considered the most fertile animals, and they represented new life in springtime.

Writings dating to the 1500′s attribute the bunny to the Germany people. When Germans migrated to America, they brought the Easter bunny mythology with them. The first edible Easter bunnies were made of pastry and sugar, not chocolate, in the early 1800′s. It was believed a white rabbit would leave brightly colored eggs for good children on Easter morning.

It wasn’t until after the Civil War that Easter was widely celebrated in America. Children would build a nest in a hidden area of their house or land from their hats. Hence, the Easter bonnet and the tradition of the Easter hat for women.

Wild Rabbit photo by Atilla Kovacs

May your Easter basket be full on Sunday.

Hugging bunny photo by Romeo Gacad / AFP Getty Images

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About Gina Genis

Gina Genis has exhibited her work in museums and galleries across the U.S. She is included in the permanent collections of the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, the Otto G. Richter Library Special Collections Division of the University of Miami, Hard Rock Casino, Orange County Transit District, IBM, and the Sarah and Adam Markman Collection among others. Her Window Peeping series was included in OsCene 2010 at the Laguna Art Museum, Truman State University, and solo shows at Gallery 825 and Cypress College. The June Gloom series was exhibited in a solo show at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The Kala series has been exhibited at MPLS Photo Center, Cypress College, and Gallery 825. Economy Portraits was created as an Artist In Residence project at the Huntington Beach Art Center, and was awarded "Best Art Show of 2011 by the OC Weekly. She recently curated Wide Angle View, an exhibit of 16 international, award-winning photo and multi-media journalists at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art to much critical acclaim. Recent reviews of her work have appeared in the Huffington Post, Art Scene, OC Weekly, Orange County Register, New University, Riviera Magazine, Coast Magazine, Huntington Beach Independent, and more. She leads the Gina Genis Photo Workshops where she teaches beginning and intermediate photographers how to jump to the next level with their work. She also teaches online courses through The Compelling Image.

3 responses »

  1. thanks for sharing this!

  2. Pingback: Easters Remembered « The Incredible Lightness of Seeing

  3. Good article The Origins Of The Easter Bunny Gina Genis Blog. I’ve not thought of this before. It can be a wonder what you could uncover online.


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