Long ago, people noted the links between a woman's cycles that were linked to birth, and the cycles of the moon. Very old records from Asia indicate that the hare was the symbol of the moon. So it followed that the moon and the hare both became the symbol of birth, rebirth and life after death.
Lunar Hare by Jenny Davies-ReazorMany ancient cultures held spring festivals to celebrate the renewal of life and to promote fertility. One of these festivals, in what is now Northern Europe, was in honor of Eostre or Eastre, the goddess of dawn, spring and fertility. Her symbol was the rabbit, a most fertile animal and a symbol of new life. Many people think that the modern feast of Easter had its roots in the springtime feasts to honor Eastre.
Hare cabochon by Blueberribeads
Little Bunny Rabbit Bead by Tree Wings Studio
The first Easter Bunny legend was documented in the 1500s. By 1680, the first story about a rabbit laying eggs and hiding them in a garden was published. These legends were brought to the United States in the 1700s, when German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania Dutch country and brought 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.
Sweet Bunny Bracelet by Linda Landig JewelryThe children would build their nest in a secluded place in the home, the barn or the garden. Boys would use their caps and girls their bonnets to make the nests. The use of elaborate Easter baskets would come later as the tradition of the Easter bunny spread through out the country.
Faux Bronze Bunny pendant (polymer clay) by Studiotambria"Hop To It!"
Linda Landig Jewelry – ArtFire
Linda Landig Jewelry – Etsy