Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rabbits, Eggs, and Jesus

Even wonder how rabbits, eggs, and Jesus got all mixed up together for a celebration called Easter? Well, it seems like I am not the only one. There is an article about it over on the Huffington Post.

There once was a mythical German goddess named Ostara (Oestre / Eastre) who is associated with Spring and is considered a goddess of fertility and friend of children. She changed her pet bird into a rabbit. This rabbit brought forth brightly colored eggs, which the goddess gave to the children as gifts. Hence Easter - at least the rabbit and egg part.

It is less clear to me how Jesus got mixed up in all of this, but I guess it is the Spring, rebirth-thing, all mixed up together. There is also a Jewish Passover connection with most European words for Easter coming from the Hebrew word "pasah," to pass over.

So there you have it. Rabbits, eggs, and Jesus all together tomorrow.

Happy Easter!


  1. Well, the "benefits" of a Catholic grade school education is that I have some knowledge on trivia like this.

    Basically, as Catholic missionaries were stomping through Europe converting heathens, they frequently appropriated local customs. My guess here is that Ostara's festival was in the spring, and since Easter was a spring thing as well as a rebirth thing, the missionaries grafted it in.