Rabbits and chickens have become much loved symbols, traditionally associated with Easter, but how did this come about?
The name Easter is thought to have originated from the names of the goddess Eastre/Eostre/Ostara who is the goddess of spring and fertility. The essence of spring and fertility is echoed in symbols that have become synonymous with Easter, i.e. rabbits and eggs.
The Easter Bunny
Rabbits and hares are symbols of abundant new life due to their prolific breeding patterns. They are said to give birth as soon as the weather warms for the Northern Hemisphere spring.
One legend suggests, that Easter Bunny was originally a large bird that belonged to the goddess Eoster (the goddess of fertility). One day she used her magic to transform the bird into a hare. While he appeared physically as a hare, he still had the heart of a bird so continued to build straw nest and fill them with eggs. Over time the legend has altered slightly to be about a rabbit rather than a hare and hence the Easter Bunny.
Eggs symbolise the beginning of life or the beginning of the universe. They feature in the Eostre legend also representing fertility. Traditionally, eggs where collected for the week before Easter and they were coloured and given as gifts to celebrate the coming of spring. In the 1800’s a more modern take on the egg began to take shape in the form of chocolate and candy Easter eggs. These special treats have now become a regular part of Easter celebrations.
Chickens and chicks have also become associated with Easter as they too represent new life and the beginning of spring.
Easter really is a celebration of new life and new beginnings and is best shared with family and friends, whether they be of the human or animal kind.
Easter may even inspire you to welcome some new pets into your home, including rabbits or chickens. They both make wonderful pets. For more information on keeping rabbits and chicken as pets have a read of our previous articles:
We at Creature Concepts also offer a great range of hutches and coops suitable for Aussie backyards and weather conditions. Why not take this Easter Holidays to purchase and setup your Rabbit or Chicken run.