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Origins of Easter Imagery

By Luke Leonetti

April is just around the corner, and Easter is coming up quick. Time to get your baskets and eggs ready, and be prepared to meet Peter Cottontail himself! But have you ever wondered just how these traditions came to be? Well, this episode of the Current OC, we’ll be discussing the origins of Easter.

First, some background on the holiday itself. The name “Easter” comes from the Pagan tradition known as The Festival of Eostre. This was the celebration of the goddess of fertility, who was symbolized as a rabbit. As we all know, rabbits don’t lay eggs. So where do the eggs come into play? Well, some countries use cuckoo birds instead of rabbits, which I guess is a way to justify it. But celebrating with eggs started back in the 13th century and comes from the representation of new life.  Decorating eggs became popular amongst the Russian Royal Family in the 19th century, where they would be given as gifts. Eventually, the tradition found its way to the U.S. The Easter Bunny was commercialized and turned the imagery into the character we all know today.

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