Every year on the eve of Easter, my informant’s mother and aunt would hide easter baskets around her backyard and throw green Easter grass in piles around the backyard as well. They would then make little tracks and make the Easter grass lead out the yard door to make it seem like the Easter bunny had left a trail. The first Easter that they had done this, the informant had woken up early and “prowled” around the apartment and backyard to look for Easter eggs. However, everyone else was still asleep and so she waited until her mother got up and told her aunt that she had already found all the baskets, but didn’t touch any of them. After everyone was awake, she went around to collect her Easter baskets and showed them how the Easter bunny had gotten in.
Easter originated as a pagan festival and then morphed through many other ways into the holiday it is today. The Easter bunny, though thought to be a random animal chosen to be associated with Easter, actually came from the original Easter Pagan Festival. The goddess Eastre’s earthly symbol was the rabbit and the Anglo-Saxons had worshipped her through the rabbit. In fact, Easter was not widely celebrated in America until after the Civil War, when it became popular with Christians. Eggs, on the other hand became associated with Easter because they represented fertility and rebirth.
Annotation/Additional Comments: More information about this folklore can be found at this source: http://www.phancypages.com/newsletter/ZNewsletter2599.htm. Easter has been a holiday that has been plagued by business as with many other widespread holidays. However, it is interesting to see that many of the traditions associated with Easter were actually traditions that originated with the holiday.