Which came first on Easter? The egg or the rabbit?

Published: Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 05:41 PM.

How in the world did the rabbit become associated with the egg at Easter? Rabbits don’t lay eggs and are certainly not hatched … so what gives?

The egg came first.

The egg history comes from extremely early Christian written archives. The egg was the miracle. Unlike canal  birth from the female animal which was iffy in survival including humans (stillbirths) in the Dark Ages, the hatching of life was usually always successful when the bird or reptile cracked its way free. Of course all bets were off if predators were close, but the idea of seeing life coming from a round sphere was a pronounced miracle of God. So the spring hatching of goslings, chickens, and ducks was a promise of a good year for the peasant. They could eat for another season and coupled with Christ’s coming from an entombed cave and cracking through the stone enclosure matched up perfectly  with the new life busting through the egg shell.

And the rabbit? 

Well, it was another product of spring and success for the farmer. The rabbit was one of the most productive meat breeders in the barnyard. And in the spring and summer the female could have many more litters than any other animal. A female hare could even become pregnant again while getting ready give birth to a litter. 

What better than seeing the eggs coming with new life over and over coupled with bunnies coming at the blink of an eye? It was a celebration of abundant life and felt perfectly in line with spring and Easter. It was life over death, just as Christ gave the individual hope of  cracking open the gates to eternity when one finally  ended his or hers earthly visit.

It was actually the German culture that fostered the bunny concept. The Lutheran religion in 1682 basically started the tradition. The bunny was actually brought into church services at times and is found depicted in stone relief on churches all over Europe . The cotton tail became like a spring Santa and children would find treats about the house or in the garden on Easter morning.

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