Origins of the Easter Egg Hunt

Where did these odd traditions come from?

Ashston Perna, Writer

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The Easter egg hunt tradition originated from Pagan festivals held in the spring that celebrated fruitfulness and fertility. Similar to a lot of Pagan traditions, people of Christian faith combined the game with something more rooted in religion. As many already know, an Easter egg hunt is an event where children of all ages seek colorful eggs filled with various types of candies and prizes, allegedly hidden by the mysterious Easter Bunny. The reason why the eggs are significant to the game is because the ban of eggs during lent back in medieval times. The ban made it so that the Pagans would only be served eggs with Sundays meal, the same day as church.

As previously stated, there lies an illusive and odd figure behind the rather religious holiday, the Easter Bunny. To no surprise, this tradition of having a sneaky giant bunny run around during Easter morning, dates back again to the Pagans. They praised a goddess of fertility named Eostre, and fertility was a trait rabbits are most associated with in pagan culture, therefore their spring festival mascot was a bunny. To add to the Easter Bunnies background, it is thought that German immigrants brought their tradition of an egg-laying hare they called “Osterhase” to the United States in the 1700s.

The mythical Osterhase was known for laying its colorful eggs, ones so beautiful that boys and girls from all over Germany came to celebrate the tradition. If a person made a nest pretty enough to attract the attention of Osterhase, he may lay his eggs in the nest. Over the years, the tradition grew side by side with the tradition of Easter egg hunts and the nest became the basket that kids would collect eggs in. Many families have recreated this tradition by using fake grass in woven baskets.