In his Dress to Kill special, comedian Eddie Izzard provides the best explanation he can think of for there being an Easter Bunny and chocolate eggs in conjunction with the Christian observance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And then kids eat chocolate eggs because of the color of the chocolate and the color of the wood on the cross...well, you tell me! ... And the bunny rabbits! Where do they come into the crucifixion? There were no bunny rabbits up on the hill going, "Hey, what're ya gonna put these crosses in our warrens? We live below this hill, alright?" Bunny rabbits are for shagging, eggs are for fertility! It's a festival, it's the spring festival!
While Izzard is obviously joking, we are still left wondering what the exact origins of the Easter Bunny are. While there is no 100 percent certainty behind the folklore, Bustle writes that the story took its first leap in the late 1600s, and, frankly, the original Easter Bunny was kind of a jerk.
At first, the concept was developed by German Protestants, who envisioned the Easter Bunny to function somewhat like Santa Claus. While he didn't have a list that he checked twice, the Easter Bunny definitely judged children and awarded an Easter egg hunt for only children who had been good. This version was called the "Easter Hare," and was present in the late 1600s.
The coloring of the eggs also developed over time. It's believed that the tradition, in general, came from the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 1700s. They believed in the “Osterhase,” which was an egg-laying hare, and encouraged children to build nests for the Osterhase to lay in and produce his colorful eggs.
Head over to Bustle to read more.
Feature image via Flickr user The Dress Up Place.