USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘Easter bunny’
Earth cycle
Holidays
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Easter Egg Traditions

Context & Analysis

My roommate (the subject) and I were sitting in our dorm room talking about how our families celebrated different holidays. The subject’s family is relatively large and extremely tight-knit. Most of her extended family live within an hour radius, and they highly value family gatherings. The dying of the Easter eggs the night before is a tradition carried out only by her immediate family, suggesting that this tradition might not be shared with her extended relatives. It is also interesting to consider that the family chooses to celebrate Easter despite not being religious themselves. Additionally, the subject and her sisters are all high school age or older, so I think that it is fascinating that their mother maintains the façade of the Easter bunny hiding the eggs. It appears that the tradition of the performing the event in the exact way it has “always” been is a way to preserve an important part of girls’ childhood.

 

Main Piece

“On Easter, we always do an Easter egg hunt and the night before we always dye hard-boiled eggs. And my parents always hide the eggs and it’s funny because they keep the façade of ‘Oh, the Easter bunny hid it over there, wow he’s so sneaky!” but its them, it’s like—but my sisters and I are (all three) old enough that we know that, but, like, it’s funny that they still keep that. My mom won’t shop for Easter bunny stuff in front of us, she’ll like—my sister pointed out some stuff to her at Target like “Oh mom, look those are cute baskets for everyone “ and she’s like “No that’s Easter bunny shopping, the Easter bunny will come back later” [laughs], so she attempts to like keep that going, but it’s funny and it’s always been that way.”


 

Folk Beliefs
Holidays
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Easter Bunnies Messengers

Story:

 

“When I was a little girl my mother told me that the bunnies that came out during the spring were the Easter Bunny’s messengers and they told him what I was doing and whether or not I was being a good girl. The amount of candy and presents I got would depend on how good I had been. Later I found out the Easter Bunny wasn’t real and that the bunnies were just bunnies, but I always wondered whether my mother had changed the amount of candy my sister and I got because she thought we had been bad children. I doubt it though.

 

I remembered this from my childhood because I love animals and because bunnies always start coming out in the spring and whenever I see one I can’t help but remember. I loved holidays and I think my family made this up to discipline the children subtly. They wanted us to behave and they bribed us in a way. Just like during the Christmas season when children are told St. Nick is watching. I guess this story was a variation on that. “

 

Many other countries have holiday figures with helpers, like Santa Claus and the Krampus in Germany.  The rabbit is a fertility symbol during Easter which, before becoming Christianized, was a fertility ritual.  All of the rabbits are coming out so they would be easy to spot in the days before Easter.

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