Fast Facts and Easter Traditions

Since Easter was just here and gone, dissecting the holiday traditions, how they got here, and where they came from might be interesting. For centuries the symbols and traditions that come with Easter have morphed. For Americans, the holiday is somewhat of a combination of Christmas and Halloween. For Christians, Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ— but many Easter traditions are not found in the Bible.

For most, when we hear Easter, we visualize the easter bunny. But, according to, the bunny was introduced to America by German immigrants who brought over their stories of an egg-laying rabbit.

Decorating eggs and painting them with bright colors comes from as far back as the 13th century, and the rite of the Easter parade dates back even further. New additions to Easter traditions include filling baskets with candy and leaving them out the night before for children to find, hunting for eggs, and rolling them around the lawn.

While the Bible does not refer to a white bunny leaving spring-themed eggs in baskets for well-behaved children, the bunny has nonetheless become a prominent symbol of the Christian holiday. And while the exact origin of the Leporidae creature is unclear, rabbits are believed to be prolific procreators and are an ancient symbol for fertility and new life.

Some sources claim that the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s when German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania and brought along the tradition of their egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.”

Once the U.S. adopted the tradition, we changed the story to read that well-behaved children will wake up to a basket of chocolate, toys, and decorated eggs left there by the easter bunny himself. In addition, children will often leave out carrots for the bunny in case he works up and has an appetite from hopping from home to home.

According to, decorating Easter eggs is most likely linked to a pagan tradition. The egg is an ancient symbol of new life and has been related to pagan festivals celebrating the welcoming of the spring season. In addition, Christians see the eggs as a representation of Jesus emerging from the tomb and his resurrection.

However, decorating the eggs is an old tradition that dates back to the 13th century. One justification for decorating eggs was that eggs were once forbidden during the Lenten season. So rather than eating them, people would decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter day as a celebration.

As for Easter egg hunts and egg rolling, the White House Easter Egg Roll was first started in 1878 when Rutherford B. Hayes was president. The non-religious event was held for children to push decorated, hard-boiled eggs across the White House lawn the Monday after Easter.

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