Today is the time of year again for Easter, “Easter” is the Christian celebration and it comes at the end of another Christian and especially catholic practice called Lent. I think we talk about “Lent”, Lent is the forty days before Easter, Easter is a celebration of the Christian religion, the realization of the Christian God and it’s of course very popular in the United States and most of American are Christians, one sort or another.
Part of the celebration of Easter in the United States or some other countries is the use of the symbol called the Easter bunny, now a “bunny” is short for a “bunny rabbit” and it’s a small rabbit, a “rabbit” is of course a little usually white animal, if you know about the cartoon character “Bugs Bunny”, you know what the bunny is, the rabbit is. Well, in Easter the use of the bunny is very common especially for children , and it’s an old custom that goes back at least to the German immigrants who came to the United States in 1600s, and went to the state of Pennsylvania in the east coast of the United States. and they brought with them this custom, this tradition of the Easter bunny, and it began to become popular among other groups and now it’s sort of universal symbol of Easter in the United States. the Easter bunny is supposed to be a little bit like Santa Claus that on Easter morning the children will get candy and other sweets for being good.
In fact, the most common tradition during Easter is to have a Easter egg hunt when you go out and you look for eggs, now of course sometimes these are real eggs but they are usually not rabbit eggs, they are usually chicken eggs. People buy eggs and they color them and then they hide them and the children have to go and find them. When I was growing up we didn’t use real eggs, we used a plastic egg and inside the egg you put candy and then my parents would hide the eggs around the house and so when you got up on the Easter morning, the children, my brothers and sisters and I would go looking for the eggs, so it’s something again that you play with young children on Easter, they are these Easter egg hunts.
You would also see if you go to some stores before Easter, some department stores or a mall, a “mall” of course is a place where there are lots of stores, you see that there is a Ester bunny or a person in a Easter bunny costume, and you can have your child, have his/her pictures taken in front of the Easter bunny. I never do that myself but you would see that, it’s quite common. It’s also quite common to see the Easter bunny sold as a piece of chocolate, so the candy companies would make a little chocolate Easter bunny that you could buy and eat.
As I say this is a very popular tradition, it’s not a religious tradition any more for most people, though originally it was and the Christian church adopted it. But now it’s more as I say a nonreligious what we call a secular tradition and it’s very popular among many families with small children.