A festival was held in her honor every year at the vernal equinox.
I've been reading aricles about Easter traditions. Some of the traditions I read about were unfamiliar to me. For instance, I was never told that if I was good, the Easter Bunny would bring a special treat to help celebrate Easter. Nor was I ever told the night before Easter, “Go to sleep now so the Easter Bunny can come.” Who does that? In our house we decorated eggs ourselves, and I knew they would be hidden, for me to find. The fun for me was the special time with either siblings or my mom - not the finding, nor the eating of the eggs. I'm sure, as with any holiday, that the traditions vary. But the ones I mentioned sounded more like what I was told at Christmas, not at Easter.
I've also been reading about how rabbits and eggs have become iconic items for Easter and the "resurrection of Christ". By the way, most articles begin way before the resurrection of Christ, back to pagan times. Easter seems to be a 'transitory' holiday, depending on your belief system and/or religion. Regardless of spiritual beliefs, I still cannot help but ask, Rabbits birth bunnies, right? Eggs come from chickens (hens), don't they? So why do the rabbits deliver the eggs? Are the hens too tired? It must be a confusing scenario for a smart and curious kid!
I notice parents do not "nest" the eggs anymore, as in days of yore. In the beginning, children would use their hats for the nest. Hats eventually transistioned to being baskets - hence, the Easter basket full of goodies. According to legend, only the good children got gifts of colored eggs in the nests they made in their caps (boys) and their bonnets (girls), the night before Easter.
In an article written by Maureen Wuelfing, published October 11, 2007, she sums it very well. She wrote, "The rabbit of fertility and the egg of new life that once celebrated only spring, now celebrate the resurrection and the existence of new life for all." I just knew there had to be a connection between the rabbit ... and the egg.
An article in Wikipedia puts it this way, "Since birds lay eggs and rabbits and hares give birth to large litters in the early spring, these became symbols of the rising fertility of the earth at the Vernal Equinox."
That leads me to another part of Easter ... the Easter parade and Easter bonnets. I remember one year my sister bought me a new dress (with matching ruffled panties), hat, gloves, and patent leather shoes. I have been told that at church that day, I pulled up the back of my dress and "showed off" my ruffled panties. Oh, my!!! I enjoy parades and love hats so, of course, I enjoy the New York City annual Easter parade ... how fun it would be to see it in person one time!
It appears to me that all Easter traditions and customs are basically a celebration of spring, marking rebirth; a new beginning. Happy Easter ... whatever your faith, whatever your belief system, whoever your God.