Sunday, 5 April 2015

Easter Bunny Hare

It's Easter and the Easter Bunny is hiding chocolate eggs all over gardens, or is he she? 

A White Hare - well almost white, in late winter / early spring pelage
The Easter Bunny is a modern spin on an ancient game originally played by children (and their parents) in Germany. The children would build little nests for the Oschter Haws - the Easter Hare - to come during the night and lay fancifully decorated eggs, a bit like Santa Claus coming at Christmas. This all developed from the pagan festival Ostara; celebrating the spring equinox, the Goddess Eostre and the arrival of fresh growth and new life. And as hares are obvious in springtime, they would have been a clear choice for a symbol of new life. Not rabbits, as they are a Mediterranean species and would have been unknown to people in the distant past in what is now Germany.

The bunny took over the role following the American adoption of the tradition, along with the chocolate eggs. As to why the bunny is white, the Oschter Haws is supposed to be white, but I don't know if anyone has ever seen him to verify that. Why is the bunny male anyway, shouldn't it be a female if it delivers eggs and is a symbol of new life?

I don't have a photograph of a white rabbit, nor a white phase Brown Hare, which I think the Oschter Haws is? So here I have added a shot of a white Mountain Hare, and a set of triplets I found last spring in the Scottish Highlands. A true sign of Spring and the fresh beginning to a year.

Happy Ostara to you all.

Three mountain leverets lying in one form, most unusual as they are usually kept separate for protection from predators

Leverets lie still, but ever watchful and ready to bolt to safety if threatened

No comments:

Post a Comment