On the note of soon to pass Good Friday, Good Friday is the time of the year where we remember the death of Jesus, and Easter is where we remember the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Correct me if I am wrong.

However, people seem to associate Easter with egg hunting and bunnies and chocolates. I wouldn't mind a little celebration considering that it is the day Jesus rose from the dead, however I would like to know what in the world eggs and bunnies have to do with it.


5 Answers 5


It isn't... Or rather, they are associated with the seasonal event but not the Christian event of Easter.. Pagans and general common folk had celebrated spring with signs of new life for a long long time before Christ. Easter then became associated with the spring festivals (in particular, but not limited to, the equinox) in the same way that Christmas became intermingled with pre-existing winter (and in particular, solstice) celebrations. All of the "popular" symbols of Easter are nothing to do with what Christianity calls Easter.

Eggs and bunnies have as much to do with the resurrection as trees and sleighs have to do with the birth.

To a community where much of the population are involved in food production, the seasons (and spring/winter in particular), and the signs there-of, are all-pervasive.

The crucifixion story is a pretty gruesome thing, and frankly doesn't "market" as well as eggs and bunnies.

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    I don't think your opening statement is correct. Easter is associated with things, for better or for worse. (Admittedly I think for worse. ) you are correct that these symbols did not originate as Christian symbols, and I would argue they aren't Christian symbols. But the fact remains, in many people's minds, the Easter Bunny and disgusting marshmallow peeps ar as much a part of Easter, as trees are a part of Christmas. Regardless of the origin, the symbols are linked now. Apr 1, 2012 at 23:02
  • I do think this is a good answer to a different question however, if the question is: "Are bunnies and eggs Christian symbols?" Apr 1, 2012 at 23:03
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    On your last statement, I'm not sure I agree--I mean, how many people wear a gold bunny on a chain around their neck? :D
    – Chelonian
    Apr 1, 2012 at 23:41
  • @Affable then would "by absorbing elements from pre-existing seasonal festivities" answer the question to your satisfaction? They are associated with the seasonal event, for comvenience now celebrated at Easter, but do not directly relate to the Christian event, Easter. Apr 2, 2012 at 8:05
  • I really don't mean to be snarky, but its the OP's question, not mine. Truthfully, I've already +1'd, and I agree with your premise. I just think its an overreach to say that these symbols aren't associated with Easter at all. I do think your statement would improve the answer, though. Apr 2, 2012 at 11:49

Because all are symbols of new life, such as the New Life we have in Christ and the new life shown in Jesus' resurrection.

(My guess about the chocolate is that it's an indulgence after Lent. )

At the request of a commentator, I will expand the "symbols of new life" ever so briefly.

Eggs, of course, are where new life comes from. As one who has chickens, ive seen this happen.

Flowers tend to bloom in springtime, when dormant vegetation is "coming back to life" after the cold winter. (Back in my day, winters were cold and we had this stuff called snow that you didn't have to buy on a street corner. Then came global warming...).

Finally, bunnies are symbols of, how shall I say this delicately? Um, fertility. 2 bunnies make more bunnies rather rapidly.

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    And probably because the devil considers it a good distraction from the whole point of Easter... Apr 1, 2012 at 19:30
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    So, if you're unsure of how a bunny is a symbol of new life, you're in luck. I'm about to have to have that talk with my daughter. See, when a girl bunny likes a boy bunny, .... :) Apr 1, 2012 at 19:44
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    And it is pure coincidence that these things, and new life generally, are also symbols of spring? Apr 1, 2012 at 21:11
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    Op asked how they became associated, not whether or not they were appropriated. Apr 1, 2012 at 21:15
  • 4
    If you're looking for a delicate way to put it, you could simply say that bunnies are quite successful at being fruitful and multiplying as per the ancient commandment. :)
    – Mason Wheeler
    Apr 1, 2012 at 21:24

How come Easter is associated with Eggs, Bunnies and Flowers?

I would prefer to understand how Easter Eggs, Easter Bunnies, flowers got associated with Resurrection Sunday!

As Affable Geek has already stated, it is ”because all are symbols of new life, such as the New Life we have in Christ and the new life shown in Jesus' resurrection.”

No matter what Church traditions and customs are associated with a particular Christian celebration, there will be those who wish to brush it off as pagan traditions! Nothing is further than the truth.

Let us start with eggs. Until recent years (1967), Catholics observed a rigorous Lenten fast. The Orthodox Churches still do. During Lent no meat, dairy or eggs. Were eaten. Thus it would be natural to partake of such foods on Easter Sunday.

The Easter Egg:

The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during Lent, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration. - Easter Symbols and Traditions

The Easter Bunny:

This custom in some Christian communities in for the children. Rabbits are very prolific creatures of God and as such became a symbol of new life. This is simply a custom in certain areas and is not associated liturgically or theologically with the joy of Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Where did the Easter bunny come from? The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; nevertheless, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity’s most important holiday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life.

According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the United States and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests.

Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping. - Easter Symbols and Traditions

Candies and chocolate are popular cushions around Easter time.

Easter Candy

Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America after Halloween. Among the most popular sweet treats associated with this day are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th-century Europe. Eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus’ resurrection. Another egg-shaped candy, the jelly bean, became associated with Easter in the 1930s (although the jelly bean’s origins reportedly date all the way back to a Biblical-era concoction called a Turkish Delight).

According to the National Confectioners Association, over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the United States each year for Easter, enough to fill a giant egg measuring 89 feet high and 60 feet wide. For the past decade, the top-selling non-chocolate Easter candy has been the marshmallow Peep, a sugary, pastel-colored confection. Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based candy manufacturer Just Born (founded by Russian immigrant Sam Born in 1923) began selling Peeps in the 1950s. The original Peeps were handmade, marshmallow-flavored yellow chicks, but other shapes and flavors were later introduced, including chocolate mousse bunnies. - Easter Symbols and Traditions

Many Christians decorated there homes and churches with flowers as gloom and fasting of Lent is now over and everything in now bright and cheerful in the joy of the Resurrection of Christ from the Dead!

Easter Lilies and Flowers

White Easter Lilies symbolize the purity of Christ to Christians and are common decorations in churches and homes around the Easter holiday. Their growth from dormant bulbs in the ground to flowers symbolize the rebirth and hope of Christ’s resurrection. Lilies are native to Japan and were brought to England in 1777, but wound their way to the U.S. in the wake of World War I. They went on to become the unofficial flower of Easter celebrations across the United States. - Easter Symbols and Traditions

Madonna lilies are very popular in Eastertide as these “white lily symbolizes chastity in the iconography of the Catholic Church and some of the Orthodox churches. For example, Medieval depictions of the Annunciation show Gabriel the Archangel handing a white lily to the Virgin Mary. Additionally, the white lily is the attribute of other virginal and chaste saints, such as Saint Joseph.”

We must constantly recall that the word "Easter" is employed only in English and, at most, a few other Germanic languages. Literally everywhere else it is known in some form of "Pascha," taking its name from the Jewish Passover celebration which typically falls around the same time as Easter does and serves much the same ceremonial role.

Liturgically, Catholics and I imagine some other denominations refer to Easter Sunday as Resurrection Sunday (Dominica Resurrectionis) and not Easter.

The Greeks called Easter the pascha anastasimon; Good Friday the pascha staurosimon. The respective terms used by the Latins are Pascha resurrectionis and Pascha crucifixionis. In the Roman and Monastic Breviaries the feast bears the title Dominica Resurrectionis; in the Mozarabic Breviary, In Lætatione Diei Pasch Resurrectionis; in the Ambrosian Breviary, In Die Sancto Paschæ. - Easter (Catholic Encyclopaedia)

Christus surrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia!


For a view from a denomination that is neither mainstream nor Jehovah's Witnesses, one might read the booklet, Easter: The Untold Story.

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Here's the first of its seven chapters:

Easter: The Untold Story

Chapter 1

What’s in a Name?

For many professing Christians, Easter is the most sacred holiday of the year. For others, it is a time to show off a new set of clothes and perhaps a hat or bonnet. For children, it is an exciting time to search for brightly colored eggs that were hidden in the garden or around the house. Some children even receive live chickens or rabbits from well-meaning parents.

But consider, what does all this have to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ? The simple answer is, absolutely nothing! Nevertheless, most people look at such customs as harmless fun for the children. But, are they? Or do they obscure the truth about the most important event in the history of mankind: Christ’s life, message, crucifixion and resurrection?

I often tell people a true story about my uncle George. He was a colorful character, to say the least. He was a self-made man who left home at the age of 16 and went on to invent various electronic instruments used in the oil-drilling industry. I knew for many years that he was a passionate atheist, but I never knew why until a few years before his death when he explained it to me. When he was five years old, his mother, my grandmother, told him to go out and look for the eggs the rabbits laid. It was Easter Sunday. Even at this early age he knew that rabbits did not lay eggs, because my grandmother raised rabbits for sale. He immediately protested, “Rabbits don’t lay eggs.” And she replied, “Georgie, if you look real hard you’ll find them.”

As he explained to me, he really did look, but he did not find any. He went back into the house and disgustingly informed her, “Mother, you lied to me. Rabbits don’t lay eggs.” And, as he further explained, “That’s when I began to question the whole idea of God and Christianity.” Why is it that Christians lie to their children about such things when the Ninth Commandment tells us: “You shall not bear false witness”? Are they not aware of Revelation 21:8, which tells us that “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death”? Maybe these “little white lies” are more serious than we realize! Maybe we should rethink what we teach our children!

What History Reveals

From where do these seemingly harmless lies and quaint customs originate? Historians reveal a great deal about the origins of Easter traditions, starting with the very name itself. Easter is nothing more than another spelling for the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre, but where did this goddess originate? The New World Encyclopedia suggests a connection between Eostre and Easter with the very popular and ancient goddess Ishtar: “Scholars likewise speculate that Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring whose name later gave rise to the modern English ‘Easter,’ may be etymologically connected to Ishtar” (article “Ishtar”).

Interestingly, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church admits this about the origin of the name Easter, but gives a slightly different spelling from that of Ishtar. Our modern English word “Easter” comes from Old English, and referred originally to the Norse goddess of fertility, Istra—who was symbolized by a rabbit.

Thus the connection between Easter and rabbits, but why was Istra symbolized by a rabbit? Historians confirm this goddess, spelled variously as Ishtar, and Istra was known as the goddess of fertility, and the rabbit is a well-known fertility symbol. Even today people can be heard using the expression, “breeding like rabbits.” An example of this is seen in a November 2011 Scientific American article titled, “Why Pioneers Breed Like Rabbits.” The rabbit is not the only fertility symbol passed down from antiquity. The Oxford Companion to World Mythology explains this about Easter: “The holiday comes in the early Spring and is clearly related to ancient fertility myths of reborn heroes.… For many, Easter is synonymous with fertility symbols such as the Easter Rabbit, Easter Egg, and the Easter Lily” (article “Easter,” p. 111).

Easter and the Egg

While the egg is clearly a fertility symbol, many historians trace the origin of the Easter egg back to the Babylonian myth of a large egg falling from the sky into the Euphrates River, from which the goddess Astarte was hatched. Astarte was revered by the ancient Phoenicians as goddess of the moon and the measurer of time. But who was Astarte? Is there any connection with this goddess and Easter traditions? Historians tell us Astarte is merely another name for Ishtar.. “The name Ishtar is likely Semitic in origin, and was identified in ancient times with Canaanite goddess Ashtoreth or Astarte” (New World Encyclopedia, article: “Ishtar”).

As we are beginning to see, this goddess—from which we derive the name of what is supposed to be a most solemn Christian celebration— has quite a past. She was no obscure figure, but was known by different names in different languages and cultures. The highly respected Encyclopaedia Britannica confirms the connection between Astarte and Ishtar: “Astarte was worshiped in Egypt and Ugarit and among the Hittites, as well as in Canaan. Her Akkadian counterpart was Ishtar. Later she became assimilated with the Egyptian deities Isis and Hathor (a goddess of the sky and of women), and in the Greco-Roman world with Aphrodite, Artemis, and Juno” (article “Astarte”).

These all refer to the same goddess, either with different spellings or with different names in various cultures. Here is a quote tying Ishtar with another important name: “Ishtar, a goddess of both fertility and war, is the Akkadian name of the Sumerian goddess Inanna and the Semitic goddess Astarte, the three names referring to the same deity in different cultural contexts. She inspired great devotion in the ancient Babylonian empire, as evidenced by the many grand temples, altars, inscriptions, and art objects devoted to her” (New World Encyclopedia, article “Ishtar”).

Interestingly, just as there came in ancient cultures to be a connection between the moon and the various goddesses of fertility, the rabbit became entwined in many of these myths. Why the rabbit? With a gestation period of just about one month, the rabbit’s cycle came to be associated with the lunar cycle, across a number of cultures.

With our modern understanding of biology we may laugh at this today, but many in the ancient world believed the rabbit to be a hermaphrodite—an animal that could reproduce without losing its virginity. This led to an association between the supposedly virgin rabbit and the Virgin Mary, as typified by the painter Titian’s Madonna of the Rabbit. When former goddess-worshipers discovered Christianity, it was easy for them to take their old reverence to a goddess and transfer it to Mary, in contradiction to Scripture and actual Christianity. Thus the various myths expanded and prevailed.

Of course, just as there were variations of myth across the different world cultures, there were also variations of worship from one culture to another, just as we see variations in spellings and customs in our modern world in the worship of gods that transcend national and cultural boundaries.

But does any of this matter? As long as we are celebrating Christ’s resurrection, what difference does it make? If there were no God, it probably would not matter, but if the God of the Bible does exist, it matters plenty!

God told Moses to warn ancient Israel that they were to make “no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth” (Exodus 23:13, KJV). Yet most of professing Christianity has done just that! And we cannot rely on the tired argument that this admonition applied only to the Jews under the Old Covenant. Malachi 3:6 tells us that God does not change, and Hebrews 13:8 tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever”! This same Jesus Christ, prior to His human birth, was the very God family member who inspired Exodus 23:13. The Apostle Paul wrote: “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:1–4). Is it any wonder that Jesus protests, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

If Jesus Christ had proclaimed the observance of Easter, we would of course be obliged to do as He had instructed us. Even if it were His Apostles who had begun the observance in harmony with His instructions, we would do well to follow their example. But neither Christ nor the Apostles left us any example of observing such a festival.

Indeed, as we will see throughout this booklet, the vast majority of nominal Christians today are observing a festival that Scripture reveals is not just non-Christian—it is actually repugnant to God. Worse yet; most are neglecting the actual festival that Jesus Christ observed and taught His disciples to observe in memory of His sacrificial death. Read on and learn the amazing truth that may change your life forever!


The Easter is a pagan feast. It has it's beginning in the cult of Astarte - from this comes the the very similar word "Easter". It has nothing to do with God. It's actually a blasphemy to associate these symbols with Jesus. The symbols are related to the fertility. Eggs and bunnies are hidden symbols for man genitalia and uncontrolled sexuality, where I come from there is also a sausage coming to this, what is a disgusting result. Also the chick brings these associations to mind.

The only holy day is the Sabbath on saturday. It's a sin to celebrate pagan feasts!

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    Nonsense. The word "Easter" or a cognate is used only in English and, at most, a few other Germanic languages. Literally everywhere else it's a cognate of "Pascha," taking its name from the Jewish Passover celebration which typically falls around the same time as Easter does and serves much the same ceremonial role.
    – Steely Dan
    Apr 7, 2014 at 18:33
  • @Steely Dan Do some research before you call something a nonsense.
    – luke1985
    Apr 8, 2014 at 9:32
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    I have. That's how I know you're speaking nonsense.
    – Steely Dan
    Apr 9, 2014 at 19:46
  • @SteelyDan You didn't that's how I know you're speaking lies.
    – luke1985
    Apr 10, 2014 at 9:11
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    Actually, I'm quite correct about the relative rarity of "Easter" or cognates as a name for the holiday in question. I'm sorry you seem to view willful ignorance as a badge of pride.
    – Steely Dan
    Apr 10, 2014 at 15:44

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