We are in total love with the Bunny Tea Towel in this month’s Tinselbox. While made in the UK, it turns out the celebration of the Easter Bunny is a truly European affair.
Easter is one of the most popular holidays in Germany; after a cold and long German winter, Easter marks the anticipated season of spring – a time of fertility. As a symbol of that fertility, the Germans introduced the world to the Easter bunny in writings in the 16th century. The Easter bunny then arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts.
Want a German version of a “Happy Easter” – Frohe Ostern (FRO-Huh OS-tern)? Bring these German traditions into your Easter Celebration:
Ostereier – Easter Eggs
Coloring Easter eggs are probably already part of your tradition, but use the German tradition of hollowing out the egg to just get the shell and use paint to create a design. Germans also have a tradition of putting a persons name and date birth on it for each person in the family.
Osterbaum – Easter Trees
Easter trees are either made of branches cut from pussy willows or actually trees or buches. Then decorated with hand painted wooden eggs, hollowed out real eggs and little garlands.
Osterlamm – Easter Cake/Bread
Then there is the “Osterlam” – lamb-shaped sponge-type cake. If you mention Easter lamb in Germany, they’ll direct you towards the best bakery in town – not a butcher.
The Easter bunny might be our symbol of Easter in the United States, but when you look around the world you will find many other symbols that are fitting of this great holiday.