Kid’s Craic: Jesus and the Easter Bunny
By Megan Lardie
When I was a kid, I thought my reward for giving up candy for Lent was a big basket of goodies delivered by the Easter Bunny for God. As I got a bit older, it occurred to me that the Easter Bunny was never talked about at church, even on Easter. I thought it was kind of rude, that after all the Easter Bunny did overnight, that the priest nor the readings or songs ever thanked him or even mentioned him.
Then I began to wonder how the Easter Bunny became part of a day that is all about Jesus rising from the dead. Some believe the Easter Bunny can be traced back to ancient times and the goddess Eostra. She was the goddess of spring and rebirth, and her icon, or symbol, was a rabbit. Could Easter have been named for her since it is a day to celebrate the rebirth of Jesus?
Bunnies and Eggs
If you know your animals, you know that rabbits are mammals and they do not lay eggs. They give birth to live baby rabbits. Chickens lay eggs. So why does the Easter Bunny deliver Easter eggs?
It is believed that eggs also represent rebirth and new life. Some Christians believe that eggs are a symbol of Jesus’ rising from the dead and leaving the tomb. Eggs were also once forbidden to eat during Lent. In the 19th century, people in Russia began decorating the eggs with paint and even some jewels and gave them as gifts in anticipation of Easter.
Easter in America
It is believed that the tradition of the Easter Bunny and Easter baskets came to America from Germany in the 1700s. The legend from German immigrants says that the rabbit, called Osterhase, would deliver eggs to children who had been on their best behavior. Children would make colorful nests for the bunny to lay the eggs in.
These children would also leave out carrots for the Easter Bunny in case he got hungry. Does this remind you of anyone else? Over the years, the bunny’s delivery has included more than just eggs. Now decorated eggs, chocolates and candy, and even toys are delivered in brightly colored baskets.
Easter in Ireland
Ireland celebrates Easter much the same way we do. One tradition in Ireland is that Easter Eggs are presented to children after dinner and can only be given to those children that have been able to keep their Lenten fast.
The eggs are usually painted different colors with very fancy designs. Lately, real eggs have been replaced with chocolate Easter eggs and probably enjoyed more by the children!
Kids in the Kitchen
Egg and Bacon Muffins
The method for making egg muffins is simple and stays the same whatever ingredients you put in the mix. Preheat oven to 400*F. Break eggs in a bowl and beat them with salt and pepper. Add in your garnish – you can add cheese, bacon or sausage (precooked), vegetables, herbs, just about anything – and give a quick stir.
Divide the egg mixture into greased muffin cups and bake in the oven until set, about ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the size of your egg muffins. Allow them to cool a bit and serve your cheesy bacon egg muffins immediately, or enjoy cold, or at room temperature.
The Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
In this classic story, Mary Lennox is recently orphaned and sent to live with her uncle in his mansion. She finds it full of secrets. With the help of companions, she discovers a locked secret garden and brings it back to life. For ages 8-12, 384 pages.
The Adventures of Peter Rabbit
by Beatrix Potter
Read all about Peter’s adventures and mischief in this timeless classic. In the four stories included in this book, Peter learns several lessons in values, morals, and virtues. For ages 3 and up, 80 pages.
Q. Why shouldn’t you tickle an easter egg?
A. Because it might crack up!
Q. What is the Easter Bunny’s favorite sport?
Gab in Gaelic
It is better to try than to hope = Is fhearr fheuchainn na bhith san duil (pron: iss far vue-chonn nah vith san du-ill)
*Megan is a Reading Intervention teacher with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. She has a BA from Hiram College and a BA+ from Ashland University. She resides in Avon Lake with her husband, Joe, and their five children. She can be reached at me************@ou*****.com.