Easter is coming and soon you may be planning a Saturday to go on an egg hunt where your kids will see the Easter Bunny and then later that night color eggs. These cherished traditions have been around for centuries.

The Easter bunny is thought to have been introduced to America by the German immigrants who told the story of an egg-laying hare. According to folklore, Eostre, a pagan goddess of spring and fertility, found a bird dying from the cold and turned it into a rabbit so its fur would keep it warm. The rabbit continued to lay eggs like a bird and painted the eggs as a gift to Eostre. To celebrate, German children made nests for the hare to lay its colored eggs and the tradition then caught on in America.

Historically, the egg has been symbolic of new life. Another possible story about the colored eggs involves Mary Magdalene, who was the first person to see Jesus after the Resurrection. It is said that she was holding an egg in the presence of an emperor while proclaiming the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. As the emperor denied Jesus’ rising from the dead, he compared it to an egg turning red. At that moment, the egg that Mary Magdalene held turned bright red.

A third possibility involves Easter being referred to as Egg Sunday. During Lent, eggs were often one of the foods that were forbidden. To mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, eggs were painted and decorated and placed in baskets with colored straw until Easter morning. They were then eaten on Easter as a celebration.

More modern traditions have the Easter Bunny delivering eggs in an Easter basket. They would hide them Easter morning for the kids to wake up and find.

Since its origins, Easter has been a time of celebration and feasting. We hope you enjoy the holiday with family and friends. Happy Easter!