Thursday, April 14, 2011

Here Comes Peter Cottontail...

It's that time of year, have you noticed  this week I've been bringing you all things Easter related. Whether you celebrate this holiday or not, I'm sure you find pleasure in little bunnies and little chicks too. After all who can resist their soft fur. Our friend Peter Cottontail can be found in many shapes and sizes this time of year. Round and fluffy, stuffed and glittered or sitting at he mall waiting to take a picture with an adorable child in their Sunday's best  Peter Cottontail is all around us. If bunnies aren't your thing, not to worry because Peter always has chicks in tow. Fluffy ones, sweet ones, chocolate ones, you name his chicks are all the rage.

As I made some stops this week I couldn't resist taking a few picture of our friends in the many hats that they wear this time of year. From nesting eggs to Easter baskets galore they are everywhere. This got me  thinking how bunnies, eggs, yellow chicks and baskets filled with Easter goodies were incorporated into the Easter tradition. 

According to University of Florida’s Center for Children’s Literature and Culture, origin of the celebration - and the Easter bunny - can be traced back to 13th century, pre-Christian Germany, when people worshiped several gods and goddesses. The Teutonic deity Eostra was the goddess of spring and fertility, and feasts were held in her honor on the Vernal Equinox. Her symbol was the rabbit because of the animal’s high reproduction rate. Spring also symbolized new life and rebirth; eggs were an ancient symbol of fertility. The first Easter bunny legend was documented in the 1500s. By 1680, the first story about a rabbit laying eggs and hiding them in a garden was published. These legends were brought to the United States in the 1700s when German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania Dutch country.The tradition of making nests for the rabbit to lay its eggs in soon followed. Eventually, nests became decorated baskets and colorful eggs were swapped for candy, treats and other small gifts. I think I'll stick to the real reason for the season but heavily rely on Peter cottontail and his Hippy Chicks for decor and to bring smiles to a child's face.  

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