Monday, April 1, 2013

Why do bunnies bring eggs?

This question has bothered me for some time. Where the heck did the whole Easter bunny and chocolate egg thing come from?

It wasn't until I read Neil Gaiman's American Gods that I understood. It's all based on a pagan spring ritual. I don't remember the goddess's name, but the point was to celebrate birth - babies of all kinds. So baby rabbits, chicks, lambs, etc.

Spring is a time when the trees come back to life and green things shoot out of the ground. Life starts up again. Or over depending on your world view.

After I read that, it all made sense. It has nothing to do with Christianity. It's just one of those trappings of society that got dragged along as a seasonal ritual.

The transition to chocolate was probably more commercial than symbolic. People wanted chicks and bunnies in the spring, but giving live animals as gifts gets complicated. It probably started as chick cookies or bunny buns and eventually morphed into chocolate and marshmallow.

So now we celebrate the arrival of spring with a sugar high!

No comments:

Post a Comment