The Easter bunny is coming to visit us as he does every Easter.

While you’re biting the ears off your chocolate bunnies or bilbies this Easter, you might wonder how chocolate rabbits became so central to our Easter celebrations.

It’s suggested that the symbol of the rabbit comes the from pagan festival of Eostre. Eostre was a goddess of fertility whose animal symbol was a rabbit. Why a rabbit? Well, rabbits, known for their energetic breeding, have traditionally symbolized fertility.

So where do the eggs come in?

It’s believed that the eggs come from a German legend, Oschter Haws. Apparently, Oschter Haws (a rabbit) was believed to lay a nest of coloured eggs as gifts for good children. Oschter Haws then brings baskets filled with coloured eggs to the homes of children on the night before Easter. So, it’s sort of the same as Santa delivering presents on Christmas Eve.

The baskets were put in a designated place or hidden somewhere in the house or garden for the children to find when they woke up in the morning. This is what gave rise to the tradition of the Easter egg hunt.

Bunnies aren’t the animal traditionally associated with Easter in every country. Some identify the holiday with other types of animals like foxes or cuckoo birds. In Australia, we have the Easter Bilby.

So, while we don’t really know the true origins of the Easter Bunny, we do know he visits us every year. Please don’t bite his ears off 🙂

And, if you indulge in too much chocolate, we have plenty of activities you can join in over the Easter weekend. Check out the activities calendar here.