A typical Easter celebration is filled with the exuberant colors of spring, baskets of decorative eggs, and of course a visit from the Easter bunny. Although the idea of a bunny laying and delivering eggs has become a traditional Easter mainstay in the U.S., the origins of the Easter Bunny are unknown to most. So where did this giant bunny come from, and why do we decorate eggs on Easter?
The Symbols of Easter
Easter has come to be an important tradition in both religious and pagan practices. For Christians, it commemorates the resurrection of Jesus, and for pagans, it’s a celebration of springtime. While rabbits are absent from scripture, one theory is that they originated from the pagan festival of Eostre, where they were a symbolic representation of the goddess of fertility. Another theory is that the Easter bunny originated from German folklore, brought to the U.S. in the 18th century. The German tale of Osterhase reveals an egg-laying hare that would lay colorful eggs in nests built by children. Pretty spot on if you ask us.
And what about the eggs? Eggs are generally seen as a symbol of new life and in the past churches actually had congregations abstain from eating eggs during Lent until Easter. The decorating of eggs also dates as far back as the 13th century, and Russians would even exchange ornate jewel-encrusted eggs during the Easter holiday.
While today we’ve replaced expensive jewel decorations with glitter and watercolors, and eggs are filled with candy instead of yolk, the joviality of Easter has stayed the same.
Hop on the Easter Bunny Train
One great way to get in the Easter spirit is to hop on Chattanooga’s latest attraction, the Chattanooga Bunny Train. For the third year in a row, the Easter Bunny Train will be stopping along Grand Junction to bring family and friends to the town’s best Easter activities. At your final destination, you’ll get to meet the Easter bunny, sit down for a storytelling session, get temporary tattoos, and go on a classic egg hunt.
Starting March 17th, The Chattanoogan is offering a special Easter package, including overnight accommodation, tickets for the Bunny Train, a welcome treat box, and breakfast buffet. Click here for more information on this family-friendly Chattanooga adventure.