The Easter Bunny
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The fictional symbol of Easter
The Easter Bunny is a jaunty symbol of the annual Christian holiday of Easter. Easter marks the day that, in the Christian tradition, Jesus of Nazareth rose from the grave after his crucifixion. The Easter Bunny is a secular symbol of the holiday. According to tradition, the Easter Bunny makes his visit every year, scattering brightly-colored eggs as he goes. (In many families, "Easter egg hunts" are held where children search for eggs or candy hidden by their parents.) The origins of the Easter Bunny aren't clear; the first recorded references to him (as "Oschter Haws") are generally agreed to have come from Germany in the 1500s. In ancient times the rabbit was a symbol of fertility, equated with springtime and renewal of life, and the hare was also associated with the moon, whose cycles determine the precise date of Easter each year. Over time these traditions presumably merged with the annual celebration of Easter itself, and now the Easter Bunny is associated with Easter in much the same way that Santa Claus is the secular symbol of Christmas.
In America, the White House Easter Egg roll has been a nearly-annual tradition since 1878, with kids flooding the mansion grounds to hunt eggs and mingle with the president.
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