• Concerning the Easter bunny, The Catholic Encyclopedia states: "The Easter Rabbit lays the eggs, for which reason they are hidden in a nest or in the garden. The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility." An explanation for eating eggs on Easter is that found in The Catholic Encyclopedia: "The custom may have its origin in paganism, for a great many pagan customs, celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter. The egg is the emblem of the germinating life of early spring." Even the early Easter sunrise service is not without pagan antecedents. "According to old superstition, the sun rising on Easter morning dances in the heavens; this belief has been traced to old heathen festivals of spring, when the spectators danced in honor to the sun."
  • Building on Perryman's excellent citation, I would just add that the Easter bunny is not really "part of" the religious holiday, so much as it is associated with a religious holiday. Within church services, Catholic and Protestant alike, the bunny is not involved with the religious aspects of the celebration of Easter. It was born of the pagan roots cited by Perryman (as the very name "Easter" was... )I always remember this because Eggs (Like the bunny brings) and Estrogen. But back to the rabbit... The rabbit is well known as a sexual symbol of fertility. In various parts of the world, religions which developed from Babel also associate the rabbit with periodicity, both human and lunar (Egypt, China, etc.). As you may remember, the Mother Goddess Semiramis (Easter) is associated with the Moon. In other words, the Easter bunny symbolizes the Mother Goddess. Annual Spring time fertility rituals are associated worship of the Mother Goddess and Tammuz, the reincarnation of her husband Nimrod. We propogated it in the last two hundred years for purely commercial reasons. Every holiday "holy-day" has to have some theme associated with it in order to drive new sales.

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