Germans brought symbol of Easter rabbit to America

Easter bunny brought to US by Germans / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® / The Easter association with bunnies was a German tradition brought to the U.S. after the Civil War.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The symbol of Easter Bunny originated with the pagan festival of Eastre. The goddess, Eastre, was worshipped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the rabbit.

The Germans brought the symbol of the Easter rabbit to America. It was widely ignored by other Christians until shortly after the Civil War. In fact, Easter itself was not widely celebrated in America until after that time.

Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In many languages, the words for "Easter" and "Passover" are identical or very similar.

Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb. Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades.

Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb. Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades.

There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally.

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Shane Porter, a licensed mental health counselor who has been in private practice since 1998, is president of the Counseling Center of New Smyrna Beach. His community column, "Get Psyched," is exclusively carried by Headline Surfer®.