How the Easter Bunny came to be

Dear friends, a bright holiday is approaching – Easter. Training Centre Raya London would like to celebrate the occasion by helping you make progress in learning English with an entertaining text full of new, unfamiliar words. Please read it in both versions and pay attention to the translation!

In the host country’s culture, we encountered a traditional holiday image – that of the Easter Bunny. But where did it come from? There is no mention of rabbits laying eggs in the Bible, is there?

Of course, everything started from the pagan traditions that Christianity inherited and developed further. Instead of the Christian Easter, there was once a celebration of the coming of spring and fertility, in honor of the goddess Eoster (pronounced Istra or Ustra, notice how closely it sounds to Easter!) The goddess brought fertility and flowering to Earth, and her symbolic animal the rabbit was known for its large household and rapid reproduction. The festival of the goddess originated in Europe. For example, it reached America in the 18th century through German immigrants to the State of Pennsylvania, who brought the legend of an egg-laying rabbit called Osterhase.

But why would the rabbit, which is a mammal, lay eggs? Again, the answer is in the symbolic meaning of the egg. It embodies the preserved life, emerging for a new life cycle. Just like the coming of spring to the bare winter Earth.

Nowadays, because of the commercial ideas surrounding every holiday, the image of the Rabbit has been enriched. It carries a basket, initially filled with colorful eggs and later with chocolate eggs, candies, and toys to the delight of children. The modern tradition involves a noisy celebration during which children run outside and collect real chocolate eggs or, should the weather be too warm and the chocolate be likely to melt – plastic ones, which are then exchanged for lots of sweet surprises.

It is curious how the festive animal varies according to country, continent, and local fauna. For example, in Australia, the eggs are brought to children by a cute, long-eared animal called the Australian marsupial bandicoot or, as the locals call it – Big Bilby. In Switzerland, the eggs are laid by a bird – the Easter Cuckoo. In some parts of Germany, instead of a Rabbit, they have an Easter Fox or an Easter Rooster.

Like the Christmas cookies and a glass of milk for the good old man, some children leave carrots to entice the Easter Bunny to bring them colored eggs and to reward him in case he is hungry.

Dear friends, are you getting ready for the holiday? Are you organizing the big parental egg and treat hide-and-seek for the little naughty boys and girls? Are you decorating your home with cute bunnies and rich, colorful baskets? If you wish, you can briefly tell us about your holiday in English!

Happy Resurrection of Christ!


Author: Iveta Radeva

Training Centre Raya London is a new and fastly developing English Language School specialized in teaching English as a second language. Founded in 2015 we are small enough to provide a personal service, but large enough to have very good facilities and resources for the students to learn English in UK.