Easter is Sunday, March 23, 2008
The traditions of painting Easter Eggs and the Easter Bunny are ancient history - literally!
The ancient Greeks colored Easter Eggs and rabbits and hares (being such famously fertile animals) represent the fertility of Spring and are symbols of the rising fertility of the earth at the Vernal Equinox.. Eggs are also symbols of fertility, thusly, painted and decorated eggs were given as gifts representing new life. The name Easter is thought to have derived from Eostre, an ancient pagan goddess of Spring.
Yes, that's correct! Some Easter origins, as well as those of the Easter Bunny, come from pre-Christian lore. Dating back to the time before Jesus Christ, parents told their children to expect presents from a magic hare. Since hares are quite rare in many regions, the bunny rabbit widely replaced the hare; this is how the Easter Bunny has become so famous now. Eostre is related to the German Ostara; and according to a popular piece of folklore, Eostre once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird, it could still lay eggs, and that rabbit became the modern Easter Bunny.
More Easter Bunny Origins and Folklore