It is all about the bunny! The egg hunt dates back thousands of years. But why a bunny? Well it is the goddess Eostre who brought this symbol into this time of the year, as this is Spring in Europe, the time when everything comes to life and she in particular is associated with rabbits thanks to their connection with fertility.
What came first? The egg or the rabbit? In paganism the rabbit came first, an egg-laying rabbit to be exact. In Germanic cultures it was believed that bunnies lay eggs in the grass and children were encouraged to build nests for it to lay in — and to search for the eggs it left behind.
This tradition spread quickly and in many cultures children and adults spend days decorating beautiful eggs as symbols of life.
Christianity only made its way into Northern Europe in the 15th century and the egg stuck with them but for Christians the egg means rebirth that’s why in some European cultures the eggs are dyed red to symbolize Jesus Christ’s blood.
So no matter what your beliefs are, the egg hunt tradition is still with us today and we make a point of carrying on with this fun activity.
First we decorate eggs to adorn our home, then I sneak out on Good Friday to hide eggs everywhere. I do provide clues with little paw prints, we don’t want Gigi to get there first!
This year however we travelled to a nearby field and hid the eggs with black board clues (all the more fun when they can read!).
So many folk traditions took on other meanings through the course of time, but for us it is about being together and having fun all the time remembering why we as Christians celebrate Easter.