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The Easter Bunny, a cute symbol of spring, and of course a right of passage in an Easter basket, it's been there for centuries. But why? Recent researchers have uncovered interesting tales handed down from Saxons, and even Christian sources that delve into the lore and legends of this mythical being.
The Easter Bunny or hare as it was portrayed in the past is often times associated with fertility. Recently, several pictures of Mary painted with hares have emerged. These paintings show Madonna with a white rabbit.
But why a rabbit? In most studies, researchers said that it was because a hare can have a virgin birth. That is, when a hare is pregnant with one litter, it can also be pregnant and produce a second with copulating a second time.
According to legend:
Ostara, Eástre seems therefore to have been the divinity of the radiant dawn, of upspringing light, a spectacle that brings joy and blessing, whose meaning could be easily adapted by the resurrection-day of the Christian's God. Bonfires were lighted at Easter and according to popular belief of long standing, the moment the sun rises on Easter Sunday morning, he gives three joyful leaps, he dances for joy ... Water drawn on the Easter morning is, like that at Christmas, holy and healing ... here also heathen notions seems to have grafted themselves on great Christian festivals. Maidens clothed in white, who at Easter, at the season of returning spring, show themselves in clefts of the rock and on mountains, are suggestive of the ancient goddess.[8hio]
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