It is not my intention to consider the Christian aspects of Easter. This is just about the Easter bunny and his origin.
Origin of The Easter Bunny
The Easter bunny is a symbol that originated with the pagan festival of Eastre. The goddess, Eastre, was worshipped by the Anglo-Saxons through her earthly symbol, the hare or rabbit.
The date of Easter is determined by the moon whose symbolism is strongly tied to that of the hare. In fact, the hare is the symbol for the moon. Ever since the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., Easter has been celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after March 21st.
The Easter bunny was introduced to American folklore by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s. The arrival of the "Oschter Haws" was considered "childhood's greatest pleasure" next to a visit from Christ-Kindel on Christmas Eve. The children believed that if they were good the "Oschter Haws" would lay a nest of colored eggs.
The children would build their nest in a secluded place in the home, the barn or the garden. Boys would use their caps and girls their bonnets to make the nests. The use of elaborate Easter baskets came later as the tradition of the Easter bunny spread through out the country.