So how did we wind up with an Easter Bunny symbolizing Easter, anyway? A scholar traces the Easter Bunny’s history from the Neolithic era to today.

The Easter bunny is a much-celebrated character in American Easter celebrations. On Easter Sunday, children look for hidden special treats, often chocolate Easter eggs, that the Easter bunny might have left behind.

The origin of this mythical figure is a long and interesting journey from European prehistory to today. Easter is a celebration of spring and new life. Eggs and flowers are rather obvious symbols of female fertility, but in European traditions, the bunny, with its amazing reproductive potential, is not far behind. In European traditions, the Easter bunny is known as the Easter hare. The symbolism of the hare has had many tantalizing ritual and religious roles down through the years.

Read more at Smithsonian Magazine.

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