The Easter Hare originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behaviour at the start of the season of Eastertide. Kind of like a Bunny Santa Claus.
The Easter Bunny is sometimes dressed and carries coloured eggs in his basket, candy and sometimes also toys to the homes of children. The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau's De ovis paschalibus (About Easter Eggs) in 1682, referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter Eggs for the children. Some Christians today believe that the rabbit symbolizes new life particularly in relation to the resurrection of Jesus.
Eggs, like rabbits and hares, are fertility symbols. Since birds lay eggs and rabbits and hares give birth to large litters in the early spring, these became symbols of the rising fertility of the earth at the March Equinox. Rabbits and hares are both prolific breeders. You may not know this, but female hares can conceive a second litter of offspring while still pregnant with the first ! Who on earth came up with that being a good idea is beyond me by the way ! The phenomenon is known as superfetation.
Lagomorphs, bunnies and hares, mature sexually at an early age and can give birth to several litters a year (hence the saying, "to breed like bunnies"). It is not surprising that rabbits and hares should become fertility symbols, or that their springtime mating antics should enter into the Easter Celebration folklore.
I couldn’t find anything about what the reason eggs are associated in celebrating Easter, but some suggest it comes from the roasted egg (the Beitzah) in the Passover Seder, which represented the korban chagigah (festival sacrifice) and was probably introduced to the Passover after the Temple was destroyed in 70AD.
Eggs were also the first dish served at Jewish funerals in the time of Christ’s ministry on earth. Since most of the early Christians were Jewish, it's likely they carried forward the tradition and associated the egg with Jesus' death and resurrection. It's thought that breaking the egg's shell symbolized the end of ritual sacrifice for atonement.
A second reason maybe comes from the Orthodox churches' custom of abstaining from eggs during the fast of Lent. The only way to keep them from being wasted was to boil or roast them, and begin eating them to break the fast. As a special dish, they would probably have been decorated as part of the celebrations. Later, German Protestants retained the custom of eating coloured eggs for Easter, even though they did not continue the tradition of fasting.
A third possibility is that the blooming of many flowers in spring coincides with the use of the fertility symbol of eggs. Eggs boiled with some flowers change their colour, bringing the spring into the homes, and some over time added the custom of decorating the eggs. Natural dyed eggs ! Many Christians of the Eastern Orthodox Church to this day typically dye their Easter eggs red, the colour of blood, in recognition of the blood of the sacrificed Christ (and, of the renewal of life in springtime). Some also use the colour green, in honour of the new foliage emerging after the long dead time of winter. The Ukrainian art of decorating eggs for Easter, known as pysanky, dates to ancient, pre-Christian times.
So... who invented the egg laying bunny? The idea of an egg-laying bunny came to the U.S. in the 18th century. Protestant German immigrants in the Pennsylvania Dutch (= Amish) area told their children about the "Osterhase" (sometimes spelled "Oschter Haws". "Hase" means "hare", not rabbit, and in Northwest European folklore the "Easter Bunny" indeed is a hare, not a rabbit. Yes, another childhood myth destroyed ….(sad face) … According to the legend, only good children received gifts of coloured eggs in the nests that they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter.
There are also derivatives of the Easter Bunny in other cultures. German immigrants brought the belief of the Easter Bunny to Sweden in the late 19th century but the tradition was never established. Instead, due to a misunderstanding of the Swedish word for the Easter Bunny, "Påskharen", which pronunciation sounds very similar to "Påskkarlen", meaning the Easter Man or the Easter Wizard, the Swedish tradition of the Easter Wizard bringing eggs for Easter was rooted in the early 20th century. The Easter Wizard was seen as a more suitable symbol for the pagan Easter traditions of Sweden, where still today children dress up as Witches at Easter. Amazing what a mispronunciation of a word can do to a whole culture !
Well, there it is the whole easter bunny egg myth in a nut shell so to speak…now we can all sleep easier….
Happy egg hunting and …eh….fibery snaffling of tonight’s hand dyed Easter Offerings. Happy Easter everybody and a fun time spinning over this long weekend !
Yak Rabbit Tops
50grams+ (+/-1.75oz) …. AU$19
Nr 5 Luxury Tops Tops
50grams+ (+/-1.75oz) …. AU$22
How To Order:
2. message me on facebook or ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny.
I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.
Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.
IxCHeL Events to put in your Calendar!
Saturday May 17th
Coburg Town Hall, 90 Bell Street, Coburg
The AMAZING handknitters Guild Victoria is putting on their annual Yarn & Craft Show again ! Yeah ! This market is one of my favourite events of the year and s set in the epic , recently restored Coburg Town hall.
The date to put in your calendar is May 17th 2014, 10am-15pm!!! I will be there with bells on (and ears..ofcourse!) and will have a NEW range of handspun angora, mink, yak, alpaca, bison! and loooooong repeat lace yarns and sock yarns !!!
for the yarn spinners: all the IxCHeL blended tops will be at the party as well! Ranging from my Angorino to the epic Bunny bison bliss! It is going to be an AMAZING day !!!
Address to be on May the 17th is: Coburg Town Hall (pictured) located at 90 Bell Street, Coburg, about 500 metres from Sydney Road. Entry is free. the Hand knitters’ guild 2014 Raffle Rug made by Guild members with luxury yarn from the Bendigo Wool Mill will be on display and $2 tickets will be available for purchase.
Friday 18th July-Sunday 20th of July
Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show
Bendigo Show Grounds
Flower Power Bunny Shed
THE event of the year with heaps of fun and super special fibre happenings!!
Exciting news !!!!!! more info on that later in the year !!!
Friday 15th of August-Sunday 17th of August
39th Annual Country Conference
Camp Manyung Sunnyside Rd,
Im doing a talk there about the Navajo Churro Sheep project, Navajo Rug making, Navajo style spinning and more !
Lots of extremely special and hard to find fibres and yarns and SPINDLES will be available there !
Not to be missed!
There will also be a Special Navajo rug display and I will also have a stall there with lots of fluffy stuff to hug..enabling galore!!
To participate in the Country Conference please contact : Dot Vallence , email: firstname.lastname@example.org