Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). The dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.
The Easter Bunny or Easter Hare (sometimes Spring Bunny in the politically correct U.S.) originated in Alsace and Upper Rhineland, Germany (sometime in the 1500s). The bunny brings baskets filled with colored eggs, candy and sometimes gifts to the homes of good children. I always got a book!! The Easter Bunny was introduced to the United States by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 18th century.
The arrival of the Easter Bunny was considered one of “childhood’s greatest pleasures”. Traditionally, children would build brightly colored nests, often out of caps and bonnets, in secluded areas of their homes. The Easter Bunny would lay brightly colored eggs in the nest of good children. In time, nests became the modern Easter baskets; placing of the nest in a secluded area has become the tradition of hiding baskets. Our family always hid the eggs outdoors, in the lawn, into the woods (never in my mother’s flower beds) or into the barn. Given spring weather, they were often wrapped in cellophane or tinfoil. One reason for the abundance of eggs at Easter time was that eggs were forbidden during the fast of Lent. The first edible Easter Eggs were made in Germany during the early 19th century and were made of pastry and sugar, now they are primarily chocolate in all sizes!
The media often uses the Easter Bunny in various Easter advertisements and films, such as Hop, or Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie. The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter) will forever remain the naughty rabbit that barely escapes Macgregor’s garden!