When I was about five years old, nothing fascinated me more than the rat that would give me money for every tooth I lost.
In fact at one point I wondered if it was possible to have my entire set removed just so I could buy as many sugar coated banana sweets as I could!
The Easter bunny is a myth just like any other that has been told since time immemorial. Try telling a child there is no Santa Claus and then watch their world fall apart.
As children we believed all these stories until we grew up.
But as adults we know that there is no such thing as a tooth-loving, money-giving rat or a fat white bearded man donning a red and white suit with black boots and a belt squeezing his way down our chimney!
The Easter bunny or hare is a character depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. Legend has it that the creature would bring baskets filled with colored eggs, candy and sometimes even toys to the homes of children the night before the holiday.
This myth was introduced in the United States by German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 18th century. It was considered one of ‘childhood’s greatest pleasures’ similar to the arrival of Kris Kringle on Christmas eve.
But according to the tradition, children would build brightly colored nests in a secluded area of their home. If the kids had been good, the bunny would then lay brightly colored eggs in the nest. As the tradition spread, the nest has since become the modern Easter basket and the eggs are, well, eggs!
Rabbits supposedly give birth in the early spring and Easter usually comes around spring which is how the name came about. The precise origin of colouring eggs is not known although evidently the blooming of many flowers in spring coincides with the period in which the rabbit gives birth.
In Africa, myths such as the Easter bunny or the tooth fairy haven’t quite caught on. We are still very much grounded to the rat! However, in some homes people have been known to paint or dye their eggs and put them in a pretty basket as a simple decoration for Easter.
These myths are there to spice up the holidays not to mention really excite the kids.
Some folks are scared of telling their kids these stories maybe because they worry the kid might get too attached to an imaginary thing but they shouldn’t because eventually they will grow out of it, we all did.