Mascot of Easter

Marandah Mangra-Dutcher, Copy Editor

This past month the majority of the student body has been preparing for Easter. Depending on their denomination, their preparation started with Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent) going through Maundy Thursday & Good Friday (the day Jesus was crucified) and ending with Easter, a religious holiday that is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. However, Easter uses a bunny carrying eggs as its’ mascot.

Whenever Easter has been talked about the one animal who is constantly associated with it is a bunny or a rabbit. What does a bunny have to do with Jesus? I originally was thinking that it had something to do with the commercialization of Easter, as holidays always change when they are commercialized. Around Easter time stores always pop up with stuffed bunnies, chocolate bunnies, decorative eggs, and candy eggs. The malls pay people to dress up in creepy bunny costumes to take photos with their children. I want to understand why someone chose a bunny as the animal to commercialize Easter, instead of a duck or sheep. When I looked further into the history I found some true reasoning behind the origin of the Easter Bunny.

Easter is a celebration of rebirth and a fresh start, and it is a common belief that the season of spring is a rebirth, as well.  In spring everything that died over winter grows anew. In the days before Christianity there was a religion called Germanic Paganism that had their own set of gods and goddess whom they worshipped. One of which was Eostra, the goddess of spring and fertility whose symbol was a rabbit.  This is understandable as rabbits are great breeders and have a litter of babies instead of one or two. Rabbits give birth young and more than once a year so they show fertility and the birth of new life. Christianity has many Germanic Pagan symbols rooted in it’s religion, as many Christians were then converts from Germanic Paganism.

Now another question arises of. is there a difference between the Easter Bunny and the Easter Rabbit? It truly depends on where you are in the world, on if you call it a rabbit or a bunny. A rabbit can be a bunny but a bunny cannot be a rabbit. In clearer terms a bunny is a young rabbit. It truly does not matter which phrasing you use as they mean pretty similar things.

The Easter Bunny truly has reason behind being the face of Easter that stems back to a time when humans first began to believe in religion, and came to categorize that belief. The Easter Bunny has an organ just like everything else, it was just a mater of finding it.