The bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have it's origins in Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 1500s.
Here Comes Peter Cottontail
Here Comes Peter Cottontail is a 1971 Easter television special made by Rankin-Bass, based on a 1957 novel by Priscilla and Otto Friedrich entitled The Easter Bunny That Overslept. The title of the special is from the Easter song "Here Comes Peter Cottontail", which is also heard in the special. The name "Peter Cottontail" comes from a series of books by Thornton W. Burgess (1874–1965), although the special is not based directly on his books.
It was originally broadcast on ABC-TV, and in later years, appeared on CBS. In 2006, it was followed by a computer-animated sequel, Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie. It is a story about the Chief Easter Bunny's son and how he saved Easter.
Easter postcards are a form of postcard that people send to each other at Easter. They have now mostly changed to e-cards rather than postcards, however their purpose remains the same.
The tradition of sending Easter postcards to relatives and friends developed during the end of the 19th century. During the year 1898, there were only a few cards sent although the number of cards sent since then have increased worldwide.
Christian mythology is the body of myths associated with Christianity.
In ancient Greek, muthos, from which the English word "myth" derives, meant "story, narrative." By the time of Christianity, muthos had started to take on the connotations of "fable, fiction, lie". Early Christians contrasted their sacred stories with "myths", by which they meant false and pagan stories.
The Easter Bunny (also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare) is a character depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. Originating among German Lutherans, the Easter Hare originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behaviour at the start of the season of Eastertide. The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes. In legend, the creature carries colored eggs in his basket, candy and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Santa Claus, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holiday. The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau's De ovis paschalibus (About Easter Eggs) in 1682 referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter Eggs for the children. In many church services on Easter Sunday, a live rabbit representing the Easter Bunny, is brought into the congregation, especially for the children's message.
The hare was a popular motif in medieval church art. In ancient times it was widely believed (as by Pliny, Plutarch, Philostratus, and Aelian) that the hare was a hermaphrodite. The idea that a hare could reproduce without loss of virginity led to an association with the Virgin Mary, with hares sometimes occurring in illuminated manuscripts and Northern European paintings of the Virgin and Christ Child. It may also have been associated with the Holy Trinity, as in the three hares motif, representing the "One in Three and Three in One" of which the triangle or three interlocking shapes such as rings are common symbols. In England, this motif usually appears in a prominent place in the church, such as the central rib of the chancel roof or on a central rib of the nave. This suggests that the symbol held significance to the church, and casts doubt on the theory that they may have been masons' or carpenters' signature marks. Additionally, according to legend, "a young rabbit who, for three days, waited anxiously for his friend, Jesus, to return to the Garden of Gethsemane, little knowing what had become of Him. Early on Easter morning, Jesus returned to His favorite garden and was welcomed by His animal friend. That evening, when Jesus' disciples came into the garden to pray, they discovered a path of beautiful larkspurs, each blossom bearing the image of a rabbit in its center as a remembrance of the patience and hope of this faithful little creature."
German folklore shares many characteristics with Scandinavian folklore and English folklore due to their origins in a common Germanic mythology. It reflects a similar mix of influences: a pre-Christian pantheon and other beings equivalent to those of Norse mythology; magical characters (sometimes recognisably pre-Christian) associated with Christian festivals, and various regional 'character' stories.
As in Scandinavia, when belief in the old gods disappeared, remnants of the mythos persisted: Holda, a "supernatural" patron of spinning; the Lorelei, a dangerous Rhine siren derived from the Nibelung myth; the spirit Berchta (also known as Perchta); the Weisse Frauen, a water spirit said to protect children; the Wild Hunt (in German folklore preceded by an old man, Honest Eckart, who warns others of its approach); the giant Rübezahl; changeling legends; and many more generic entities such as the elf, dwarf, kobold and erlking.