One of the most common symbols of Easter is the Easter Bunny. The bunny symbolizes fertility and new life, and it was first used as an Easter symbol in Germany in the 1500’s. In the 1800’s the first edible Easter bunnies were made out of pastry and sugar.
The Easter Bunny was brought over from Germany to the United States in the 1700’s, and they were first introduced by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country.
Children believed that if they were good, the bunny would lay a nest of colored eggs, so they used to build a nest and hide it in a secure place and wait for the Easter Bunny to come a fill their nests.
In Italy and France, Easter Bells are rung throughout the year, but become silent between the Thursday before Easter Sunday, as a way to remember the death of Jesus. After that they are rung to tell the people that Jesus is alive again.
A lot of flowers are used to symbolize Easter. The Easter Lily is used as a reminder to the Christians of how Jesus came back to life. Flowers such as daffodil, narcissus and the tulip are also used as symbols as they bloom in the spring.
In England and Russia, pussy willows are picked so that people can tap each other on the shoulders with a branch for good luck.
The egg is a symbol for spring as well as for Easter. Eggs are mostly used as a sign of new life, and it has later on been chosen to symbolize the resurrection.
Originally, Easter eggs were painted with bright colors to represent the sunlight of spring, and they were then given as gifts. In Medieval times, eggs were traditionally given at Easter to the servants.
Sometimes in the past, eggs have been exchanged by lovers and romantic admirers, almost like a valentine. This is somewhat still followed in Poland, where girls send eggs to their favorite boyfriends.