Dinner Table

Celebrate! Renewal, Rabbits & Eggs

Easter decorations.

Easter decorations.

Why are eggs being decorated while shops are selling out rabbit-shaped chocolate?

Many fail to make the connection between a giant Easter bunny hiding gifts around the house and the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ, who the Christian faith cites as a significant means of salvation.

And yet we find ourselves asking: why a rabbit coming into our house to hide eggs and baskets of chocolate?

Danny, the Dwarf rabbit, soaking up some sun

Danny, the Dwarf rabbit, soaking up some sun

The Easter Bunny

Hare, choosetherightwords.wordpress.com

Hare, choosetherightwords.wordpress.com

“Actually the correct term is the “hare” not a rabbit, hare which relates historically to matter of Easter,” said a Multnomah County Library research assistant.

“Hares are born with their eyes open. And so legend said that since they do not blink or close their eyes, remaining nocturnal and thus, in constant harmony with the changing moon.”

What more, the hare carries the seed of birth for about a month, like a changing moon, which both erupt into what we know is new creation. “In Eastern and Western tradition, the goddess, Eostre is connected to the hare and egg which are all emblematic of ‘fertility’,” said the specialist in specialist. *

Hare, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hare, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Most historical documents show that the fable arrived in America during the 1700s with German immigrants who established in Pennsylvania, bringing with them the “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” These legendary animals, said to keep their young in twig-made layers, were given nests by the settlers, initiating a tradition of gifts in the form of woven baskets. Over time, the ‘hare’ was also translated to the ‘bunny’ or ‘rabbit’ due to various language conversions.

“For me it’s just fun to be with friends,” Jessica McMahon, a Corvallis native, said. “I’m not religious – we didn’t even really do the egg-bunny thing – but I know that my friends value the spiritual and religious significance of Easter. It’s cool to understand a big basis of what they believe and hold dear.”

Eggs: Colored & Hidden

Beyond fertility, eggs represent re-enactments of the stone that was said to roll away from Christ’s tomb on the day of his resurrection. In terms of new life, eggs have been connected with pagan festivals adopted into Christian celebrations of springtime.**

“From the perspective of Christianity – the eggs are said to symbolize Jesus’ rise from the tomb and the resurrection,” said the Multnomah County Library’s research specialist. “Another thing was that during the Lenten season, people in the 13th century would paint the eggs and decorate them because it celebrated the end of fasting. After penance they would eat eggs on Easter as celebration.”

Eggs & Baskets

Eggs & Baskets

“I also like the fact that it’s about renewal and to me that means ‘re-do’.” McMahon laughed. “The spring is my time to re-do so it’s fun to partake and it’s all refreshing along with the hopefully brighter weather.”


A few on-campus listings focused on Easter services as followed:

Saturday, April 4, 2015
8:30 PM
Easter Vigil Mass
Chapel of Christ the Teacher Chapel

Sunday, April 5, 2015
10:30 AM
Easter Sunday Mass
Chapel of Christ the Teacher Chapel

*Celebration! by Anabel Kindersley

**A Faith Like Mine by Laura Buller


Images by Eli Stanphill



Categories: Dinner Table

2 replies »

  1. I thought this piece was brilliant! I had no idea of the history of the symbolism of bunnies at Easter. I loved how all of the research you put into this piece!


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