Who is the real Easter Bunny?

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In the West, the Easter Bunny plays a central role in the season’s celebrations. But where did this story come from?

Easter is a Christian festival that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and, like chicks, rabbits are symbols of fertility and the new life that spring brings. From as early as the 16th century, the rabbit has been an emblem of the holiday, bringing good children decorated eggs as gifts - real ones, not chocolate! But the original story of the Easter Rabbit may be much, much older….

According to legend, the hare was the mascot of Ostara, the pagan Goddess of Spring. One winter’s day, Ostara found a bird whose wings had frozen in the snow. She turned the bird into a hare named Lepus, then winter ended and spring began. This magical hare could lay eggs (well, it HAD been a bird), but only once a year at the start of spring, so every year on that day its festival was celebrated.

Chocolate eggs first appeared in France and Germany in the 19th century, and today we often tell the story of these sweet treats being delivered by the Easter Bunny. However, in Switzerland, Easter eggs are delivered by a cuckoo, and in Germany they’re delivered by a fox.

While you’re waiting for the Easter Bunny to visit, why not make your own? Check out our recipe for Pink Lady® Easter Apple Bunnies. Have a hoppy Easter!