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Holidays and Traditions
Easter
Care of Rabbits

What do bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter or the resurrection of Christ?

Answer

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April 10, 2012 12:54AM

Nothing, actually.

People have been celebrating spring for as long as weather got cold in the winter, and food supplies dwindled. Birds usually lay their eggs in the spring, so eggs were a natural symbol for spring, rebirth, and new life. Rabbits are very fertile animals whose babies scampered about in spring, so they also became symbols of spring. Many ancient cultures celebrated the coming of spring with religious ceremonies.

When the Romans were spreading across Europe, there were a lot of different religions, and assimilating people to Christianity was a challenge. Instead of simply forcing a whole new religion on people, they simply 'adopted' traditional dates and celebrated the Christian holidays on those same dates. Christmas also falls on around the time of pagan holidays that were celebrated during the winter solstice (Saturnalia, Yule, Rizdvo). Rabbits and eggs were both symbols of fertility and part of traditional pagan spring celebration of Ostara. They were incorporated into Christian Easter by a process of religious syncretism.