When you think of the Easter Bunny, you probably envision a big, furry rabbit delivering eggs and candy to children every spring. Of all the creatures on the planet, how did a rabbit come to symbolize spring?
We did a background check on the Easter Bunny and uncovered some interesting tidbits:
- This Bunny is Old! While the exact origins of the Easter Bunny are murky, we do know it’s an ancient animal dating back to the Middle Ages and possibly centuries earlier. As legend has it, the goddess of Spring, Eostra, was associated with a hare and the idea stuck.
- Alias Bunny: The Easter Bunny also goes by the name Easter Rabbit and Easter Hare. However, a bunny by any other name is not the same. Easter Bunny is the most popular handle for this recognized rabbit.
- Copious Cottontails: Many consider the rabbit – which has large litters that mature quickly – as a symbol of spring and renewal. Incidentally, male rabbits are called bucks, females are does, and baby rabbits are called kits or kittens. Go figure.
- Like Santa, Only Fluffier: Eggs have been dyed at springtime for centuries. Some mystery remains around why the Easter Bunny delivers eggs (baby bunnies don’t hatch, after all; they’re born). The story of an egg-laying rabbit has roots in German folklore. Just as Santa would decide who’s been naughty or nice before delivering presents at Christmas, the “Osterhase” (literally, “Easter Hare”) would reward good children with colored eggs at Easter.
Many of us will enjoy candy this weekend. In fact, it’s the second-biggest candy-selling holiday (Halloween is #1)! Ponder these facts while you’re digging into your candy stash (source: statisticbrain.com):
- Show Me the Bunnies: 90 million chocolate bunnies are manufactured for Easter. That’s enough to give one to every person living in California, Texas and New York state – combined!
- All Ears: 76% of Americans say chocolate bunnies should be eaten ears first.
- 120 million pounds of Easter candy are sold every year.
- 16 billion jelly beans are made for Easter. That’s enough to give two jellybeans to everyone on Earth, with plenty to spare. But the shipping costs would be outrageous.
- More than 700 million PEEPS are sold each year in the U.S. Yellow Peeps are the most popular. Enough PEEPS are made in one year to circle the earth twice (source: Just Born).