What do a bunny and eggs have to do with Christianity?


Graphic by Allison Struck.

Rebecca Reis

When someone mentions Easter, what is the first thing you think of – Jesus’ resurrection or a rabbit hiding colored eggs around your yard?

The Easter bunny and its colored eggs are both symbols of Easter, but many don’t know their origin or importance. The Rev. Lauren Odell-Scott, minister and professor at Kent State, said via email that both are symbols of new life and forgiveness of God, which goes hand-in-hand with the message of Easter.

Easter Bunny

Odell-Scott said that the bunnies represent new life for Christians, but they also have some connections with pagan fertility traditions.

“Bunnies reproduce quickly and abundantly,” Odell-Scott said. “Christians adapted pagan traditions in many ways, so this is not surprising.”

Easter Eggs

Easter eggs represent new life and transformation for Christians, but Odell-Scott said that dyeing the eggs also represents baptism. She added that “baptism” comes from the Greek word “bapto”, which means “to dye.”

“The colors of the dyed Easter eggs are symbolic of how baptism is a change from sinfulness to a state of grace,” Odell-Scott said. “ As cloth or eggs are dyed, they become different —even as those who are Christians are called to live differently in the world after confessing faith in Jesus.”

Odell-Scott added that dipping the eggs in the dye is reminiscent of full-immersion baptisms, and Easter is a time when many people are baptized.

Contact Rebecca Reis at [email protected].