Sunday, 2 April 2017

Easter bunnies!

With Easter not far away, I thought I would look at the origins of the festival - and of course bunnies!

One of our compass points - East - is named for Eostre, the pagan Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring and sunrise... so calling this particular festival - a celebration of rebirth, fecundity and new life with the changing of the seasons from dark winter to bright spring - Easter makes complete sense.
In Judaism, the Passover festival corresponds with the beginning of spring, and in Christianity, Christ was the Sacrificial Lamb, crucified and resurrected during Passover.

So where does the Easter bunny come from?
Well, there is some belief that the hare was the favourite animal of the goddess Eostre.... and of course, rabbits and their ilk are well known for producing lots of young 'breeding like rabbits' - a real symbol of the new life of spring. Interestingly, the hare was often featured in medieval church art - it was widely believed at the time to be an hermaphrodite and links were made with the Virgin Mary.
Another story is that in the 17th century, the German Lutherans who settled in Pennsylvania brought their folklore of the Osterhase or Oschter Haws, an egg-laying hare bringing gifts to children who had been well behaved.  The idea caught on and spread throughout America 
(do I hear any groans about another American import?)

I read recently that Easter has become as important as Christmas for gift giving and decorating homes - so I'm delighted to feature some ideas from great Etsy sellers: Gra of and Clare of

Isn't this the cutest little rabbit card? from LittleConkers

Love this boho bunny from Crossstitchtheline

Gotta have eggs!  Love these Easter egg boxes from DunnCrafting

Whatever your bent - whether religious or not - Easter is a time for families to come together to celebrate the gifts of spring - which, above all, are hope and life.

Click these links for the featured shops:

Happy Easter!