Monday, March 28, 2016

Related imageIt is the morning after Easter. Is it too late to talk about it? It is never too late to feast on the chocolates though. I never thought I would live long enough for Cadbury to eliminate the word Easter from the labels on their chocolate eggs. Is Easter offensive now? Easter is first and foremost a day of great religious significance yet over the centuries it also became identified with a certain cute furry   animal called the bunny. How did that happen? Is it like what Santa is to Jesus at Christmas? Easter Bunny to Jesus at Easter? A non-religious icon to worship in winter and in spring?
How old is the Easter Bunny anyway? He even has his own song called Here Comes Peter Cottontail. The White House Easter Egg Hunt was started on the lawn of the Capitol by First Lady Dolly Madison in the early 1800’s.   Long before it was a bunny it was a hare. The stories go back to when there was a pagan goddess whose name sounds like Easter. The Easter hare appeared to be German in the first known written reference to the animal in 1682. It was a German book written in Latin about the custom of Easter Eggs but it also mentions the Easter hare as a creature that delivers the eggs. At least that is what the folklorists say at the Library of Congress.
The Easter Bunny or hare story makes its way to the United States at about 1790 brought to America by the Pennsylvania Dutch who were actually German. It is really Pennsylvania Doich.  In an early magazing called the Pennsylvania Dutchman in an 1838 issue there is an article written about the Easter Bunny. He writes that Easter is a time for children to play outdoors in the spring and find eggs that a rabbit laid. Why a rabbit? It doesn’t matter apparently. The kids had fun finding the things and they put the eggs in wicker baskets. The American Rabbit Association recognizes 49 breeds of rabbits anyway. In Washington, Pennsylvania there is a National Show where the various breeds compete for trophies.
The basics are that a female is a Doe. A make is a Boch . Rabbits are capable of breading once a month and their babies are called kits. Ok that is enough! The closest thing I will have to a Jack Rabbit now is a glass of Jack Daniels and a chocolate bunny of course. Happy after Easter Easter. 

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