CHICK HUETTEL: Following the bunny trail to Easter traditions

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 05:06 PM.

Parents would pass on the tradition of making sure a special place was made for when the magic fur ball would arrive. Like Christmas with putting out stockings and gifts for St. Nick at the hearth, the children would make nests in the house garden normally using hats for a comfy bunny abode. (The Easter bonnet comes into play at this point.)

So with nests in place on Easter morning, they would run to the hidden place where the nests were prepared and find “goodies along with jelly bean necklaces delivered by “hippity-hoppity” himself.

Coupled with decorated eggs scattered and hidden about the area, this of course gave rise to the Easter basket for collecting the treasure. To make the finding of eggs more enjoyable, the more affluent class would wrap them in gold foil, while the lower classes would get various leaves and berries, boil them for different colors and place the eggs in pots to absorb the various tints.  

The Easter hare culture remained in the Germanic culture and wasn’t well celebrated even up to the Civil War. After the conflict, the merriment began to spread to the other American cultures.

Today it is estimated that between 90 and 100 million chocolate bunnies are produced for the big day, and the largest egg made to date was with a combination of marshmallow and chocolate. The gargantuan egg was 25 feet high, supported by a steel frame and weighed in at 8,968 pounds according the Guinness World Record Book.

The most expensive eggs are the famous Faberge eggs that the Romanov Czars had produced in gold and precious jewels. Today they are valued in the millions and mostly found in museums. 

Easter brings the close of Lent when all is renewed and life starts anew, however after the bunny bandits nub down the lettuce in our garden, there isn’t too much gaiety … and on top of that, they never leave any eggs.

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