Monday 10 April 2023

The myth and folklore that is the Easter bunny and his eggs

 By Cassandra Samuels

It is Easter Monday, so I wanted to talk about that other part of Easter.

Everyone loves Easter, if not for the religious aspect, then for the love of chocolate. How did a rabbit become tangled in all this? And how is it connected to eggs? That is what I am going to try and explain today. \

Courtesy of Creative Commons
 We all know they don’t lay eggs so how are chocolate eggs connected? To explain we must go all the way back to the Pagans. They celebrated the festival of Eostre or Ostara (a great northern goddess of Spring) whose symbol is the hare. 

courtesy of Creative Commons
Easter, as you know is not a fixed date every year, but is commanded by the phases of the moon, again a nod to the pagans. The hare also represents spring and fertility. We all know the saying about rabbits, so what about the eggs because we all know rabbits do not lay them. 


Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

Since ancient times German folklore has connected rabbits and eggs where the Easter Rabbit puts colourful eggsin nests and baskets of good little children. They then took this custom with them as they migrated around the world.  

The Greeks have a more orthodox reason for dying eggs red at Easter. The egg is dyed red to represent Christ’s blood, its shell the tomb of Jesus and the cracking of the shell the resurrection from the dead and escaping his tomb. 

Photo by ALEXANDRA TORRO on Unsplash

But what about the chocolate? I hear you ask. In the early 19th century France and Germany started introducing chocolate eggs as eating chocolate. Before that chocolate was consumed as a drink but once they perfected the process of separating Cocoa from the seed, they were able to start using chocolate as it is mostly consumed today. Apparently, Fry and sons around 1860 invented the first chocolate bar from paste, sugar, cocoa butter, and chocolate liquor and moulded into a bar. Fry’s first chocolate easter egg was around 1873. 

Courtesy of Preston's Museum

The first Cadbury Easter egg was made in 1875 and now there are more types of Easter chocolate than you could possibly consume. 

So, there you have it. Easter is a combination of folklore, festivals, and religion. Over time they have become combined in a celebration that can be shared by all.  

I hope your Easter break was a wonderful one. How is your Easter spent? Have you ever read a Romance novel set over Easter? 

Love to love watching the children participating in the Easter egg hunt. 

Love to learn all about how the first chocolate eggs were made and how they related to the Easter Bunny. 

Love to laugh at my silly new puppy Buddy as he plays with his toys.