BROOKFIELD- Everyone knows that rabbits don’t lay eggs—so what is this thing with Easter bunnies? Why not an Easter duck? Or an Easter hen? That would make more sense, wouldn’t it?
Well, Easter bunnies, like most Christian holiday traditions, are drawn from pagan beliefs, dusted off, repackaged and sold as representative of Christ’s story. In the case of Easter bunnies, rabbits are notorious for their fervent lovelife and their consequent fertility. Easter, the season of rebirth, not illogically became associated with hares and rabbits, as did eggs, the very icon of new life.
The Easter bunny appears to have originated in Germany, where tales were told of the “Easter hare,” which laid eggs for children to find. According to the legend, only good children received gifts of colored eggs in the nests that they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter. The tradition was carried to America by German immigrants, and the immigrants may have also made popular the practice of making chocolate bunnies and eggs.
Why they were dyed different colors remains a mystery, but a variety of traditions have emerged. The ancient Zoroastrians are said to have painted eggs for Nowrooz, their New Year celebration, which falls on the spring equinox. The Nawrooz tradition is said to have existed for at least 2,500 years. The sculptures on the walls of Persepolis show people carrying eggs for Nowrooz to the king. Egyptians, Romans and Greeks are also reported to have dyed eggs for their spring celebrations.
The decorated eggs became the object of children’s games, a practice that continues today in Easter Egg hunts and egg rolls. The most famous egg roll takes place on the White House lawn every year, a tradition said to have been originated by the irrepressibly social Dolly Madison, who, told that Egyptian children used to roll eggs down the pyramids, invited Washington, D.C., children to roll hard-boiled eggs down the hilly lawn of the new Capitol building.
anyways, go read the whole article if you are so inclined. Just thought it made for some interesting research. :)