Legends are legends, often passed on by word of mouth between generations, but this legend claims that the Easter bunny is all German. The name “Easter” came into the Christian calendar, but not before the pagan festival “Ostara” was widespread, which was celebrated on the vernal equinox, about March 21st in the Northern hemisphere.
The ancient German goddess Ostara (named Eostre in Anglo-Saxon) was named after Eostre the pagan goddess representing spring. According to the legend, she saved a bird when its wings had frozen in winter and turned it into a rabbit. As the rabbit had been a bird once it could lay eggs, so over time the term Easter Bunny evolved.
The bunny as an Easter symbol was first mentioned in 16th century Germany writings. The first Easter bunnies that could be eaten were made of sugar and pastry were, in the early 1800s, produced in Germany.
As time progressed children made grass nests, placing them in their parents’ spring gardens so that the Easter Bunny could fill them with brightly coloured eggs during the night.
This German tradition found its way to Pennsylvania in the 1700s by Dutch settlers who brought the Easter bunny with them. Their children used their bonnets or hats to make nests and they believed that if their behaviour was good the “Oschter Haws” (meaning Easter Hare) would fill their bonnets and hats with colourful eggs. If you live in Perth ask a German Naati Translator Perth, who will be able to confirm the truth of this German legend.
The Easter egg tradition is seen not only in German towns and cities but across the world, too. German Naati Translators have been reminded about this legend time and time again.