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 History.com, 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.