By Emily Sierra Poertner
There’s no doubt America has a commercialization problem with holidays. Even the arguably most important holiday in Christianity, Easter, doesn’t go untouched. Pastel colors, eggs and bunnies line the shelves for small children. But there’s no mention in the Bible of a bunny at Jesus’ resurrection. So how did the bunny come to be the symbol for this holiday?
One theory proposes that the bunny came from Pagan traditions. Just as Christmas aligns with the Pagan Yule, Easter roughly aligns with the festival of Eostre. This spring holiday celebrates the fertility of spring and new life. Not only are rabbits known for their fertility, but the symbol for Eostre, the goddess of fertility, is a rabbit.
In Christianity, the first record of rabbits becoming associated with Easter was by German Lutherans in the 17th Century. The first reference of the Easter Bunny described him like a Santa, judging good and bad children, traveling around with his basket, leaving gifts for the good children. The Easter Bunny came to America a century later and has remained since. In other countries, a variety of other animals are associated with Easter, like foxes in Germany and cuckoo birds in Switzerland.
Whether or not you’re religious, Easter is yet another great candy opportunity. Easter is the one of the greatest candy consuming holiday in the US. 90 million chocolate bunnies are made for the holiday. Those chocolate bunnies are the number one grossing holiday candy. Easter bunnies also show up in a pure sugar form- Peeps. Americans buy 700 million peeps at Easter, the most popular non-chocolate treat.