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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Bunny, Eggs Hatched From Pagan Tradition

Despite the rain, Easter egg hunts were held throughout the Bayshore last weekend, continuing a springtime tradition that has roots dating back at least 4,000 years, long before the onset of Christianity.

Celebrated each year on the first Sunday after the first full moon of spring, Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, believed by Christians to have risen from the dead three days after he was crucified by Roman soldiers.

But what does a man rising from the dead have to do with hiding eggs and eating chocolate bunnies?

The Rev. John Fell is a theologian with a doctorate degree in sacred theology from the Alphonsian Academy in Rome. He is pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church, Bernardsville.

"I know it's a German term," Fell said when asked about the church's take on the Easter Bunny. "I know it was brought by German immigrants to the United States."

Germany's Jakob Grimm, of the Brothers Grimm fame, thought so too.

Grimm wrote about the origins of the Easter Bunny, or "Osterhase," in 1835, stating that both the Easter Bunny and decorated Easter eggs related back to the goddess Eostre. Full Story

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