Gini Dietrich

#FollowFriday: Easter Bunny

By: Gini Dietrich | April 6, 2012 | 

It doesn’t matter your religion or what you believe, the Easter Bunny is for all of us.

As it turns out, he has absolutely nothing to do with the Christian traditions.

According to the Center for Children’s Literature and Culture at the University of Florida, the origin of the celebration – and the Easter bunny – can be traced back to 13th century, when people worshiped several gods and goddesses. Eostra was the goddess of spring and fertility, and feasts were held in her honor on the Vernal Equinox. Her symbol was the rabbit because of the animal’s high reproduction rate.

The first Easter bunny was documented sometime in the 1500s. By 1680, the first story about a rabbit laying eggs and hiding them in a garden was published. These legends were brought to the United States in the 1700s when German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania Dutch country.

As well, spring symbolizes new life and rebirth and eggs are an ancient symbol of fertility.

According to, Easter eggs are part of the tradition more because of an American event start by President Hayes and not because of the religion.

Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. In the U.S., the White House Easter Egg Roll, a race in which children push decorated, hard-boiled eggs across the White House lawn, is an annual event held the Monday after Easter. The first official White House egg roll occurred in 1878, when Rutherford B. Hayes was President. The event has no religious significance, although some people have considered egg rolling symbolic of the stone blocking Jesus’ tomb being rolled away, leading to his resurrection.

But, contrary to the history and tradition, bunnies don’t lay eggs, but the two have been linked as the stories are told and retold. Because of that, Cadbury took hold of the opportunity when they introduced pure cocoa chocolate eggs, creating the second largest candy sales holiday (behind Halloween).

So there you have it. You now have permission to eat chocolate and candy until your pants burst. After all, it comes around only once a year.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • A friend of mine recently posted pictures of Cadbury egg cupcakes. They looked amazing. you would love them. 

    • ginidietrich

       @KenMueller I don’t know if that sounds good or way too rich.

      •  @ginidietrich Just shared it on your wall on FB…

  • jennimacdonald

    Gini I LOVE this article, and the history  lesson! Thanks so much. Who doesn’t love the Easter Bunny?
    Have a great weekend and Easter if you’re going on an egg hunt. Hey, does Jack Bauer get his own Easter Egg hunt?

    • ginidietrich

       @jennimacdonald Jack Bauer has been very naughty so he’s grounded from the egg hunt this year.

      • jennimacdonald

         @ginidietrich oh  no, I bet he’s so sad. This is the only way he’ll learn! 

        • ginidietrich

           @jennimacdonald It IS the only way he’ll learn. It’s grounded or going to the glue factory.

  • Have you ever tried to explain Easter to a person from a predominantly non-Christian country? I found myself saying things like “Yeah, it’s about Jesus and stuff. But there’s this bunny who leaves eggs and candy.” It sounded completely crazy when I heard it with fresh ears!

    • ginidietrich

       @jeanniecw LOL!! I think I’d like you to replay that conversation for me.

  • Leon

    G’Day Gini,
    “till your pants burst” Love that. And I’ll gladly plagiarise it too. At my age, I’m off to distribute lots of chocolates and candy to see if I can make it A Self Fulfilling Prophecy.
    As a Catholic, I’ve always believed that Easter was a time of hope. “Have another Chocolate egg Gini. Pass them to Lisa too .Join the Great Easter Pants Split Experiment”
    Sounds like great fun. Be a real hit on Mothers’ Day too. Is this what Marcus means when he says “listen to your gut.”?
    Easter On!

    • ginidietrich

       @Leon Listen to your gut. LOL!! Happy split your pants open day!

  • Good Easter info, Gini!
    Can I trick or treat for Easter candy? Think the neighbors will oblige?

    • ginidietrich

       @WordsDoneWrite I really want to know if you DID trick or treat for candy??

  • I have a great recipe for cooking the Easter Bunny.. We don’t do egg hunts or any of that stuff here.

    • ginidietrich

       @TheJackB The poor rabbit! We actually had a conversation about rabbit stew yesterday. I’m glad I”m a vegetarian.

  • I loved the Easter retrospective…very fun… Have a wonderful Easter weekend sweet @ginidietrich 

    • ginidietrich

       @SocialMediaDDS I hope you and Gus had a great weekend! xo

  • reinventioninc

    Wishing everyone a Happy Passover and Easter. MY TRIBUTE TO THE EASTER BUNNY: When I was little, my brother won a rabbit during a Harry Blackstone Jr. show. We took him home and named him Thomas (inexplicably after my father, who was an amazingly good sport about it). Thomas lasted 6 weeks before my Mama went ballistic. He became an (adored) mascot at a local Jr. High School. Though we loved him – my brother and I even “made up” a song about him – I have to admit. Rabbits are dirty, undisciplined creatures. They eat their own poop. They shred everything. They bite the hand that feeds them food. They need to run wild. Funny fuzzy bunnies? Pure myth. Uh – spin. Ahem. Happy Easter.

    • ginidietrich

       @reinventioninc Hey Kirsten. Good to see you here. I agree rabbits are all of those horrible things…except when they’re mythical and leave you chocolate eggs.

  • I’ve always found interesting how the Roman Catholic Church has been built upon older religions or traditions, at least as regards Holy Days and Ceremonies. Technically though Christianity is or should be based only on the Four Gospels. Well, I don’t wanna start such a debate. 🙂
    I didn’t knew the story behind the Easter Bunny, very interesting. Especially the part about bunnies not laying eggs. 😀 😀 😀
    Happy Easter to everyone!

    • ginidietrich

       @Andrea H. | The Hypnotism Weekly It’s VERY interesting the religion borrowed from the Gods and Goddesses. I didn’t know the full story of the Easter bunny, either. I thought I was going to write something funny about the mythical creature and it turned out he has a very interesting story.

  • We all are pagans. The jews still had festivals for pagan gods during the time of jesus. Hanuka and christmas are totally pagan. I am sure passover has some pagan elementa. I have to find the hilarious huff post article documenting these things.

    My one question is since jesus was kosher who decided bacon was ok.

    As for the easter bunny this toaist pagan jew approves

    •  @HowieSPM What is pagan about Chanukah?

      • ginidietrich

         @TheJackB  @HowieSPM Yeah…I want to know, too.