There are so many fun Easter traditions that you're probably sharing with your family this week: dying eggs, getting a basket of candy and treats from the Easter Bunny, and searching for eggs at an Easter egg hunt. While this spring holiday wouldn't seem complete if we didn't take part in all these small celebrations, have you ever wondered why we hide eggs on Easter? Well if you are lucky enough to find a few eggs that have surprises inside, you have a rabbit to thank.
If you were a German immigrant living in America during the 1700s, you'd be patiently waiting for Osterhase to visit your home on Easter. According to the History Channel, Osterhase was the German Easter Bunny who was known for laying eggs. German children would make tiny nests and leave them in the gardens for Osterhase to leave eggs in.
According to Discovery.com, on Easter Sunday, the children would rush out to the gardens to see what beautifully decorated eggs Osterhase had left for them. When Germans began immigrating to America, this fun Easter tradition began spreading across the nation and leaving eggs to be found, became an American tradition too.
While finding these beautifully decorated eggs started with Osterhase, All Things German notes that the actual Easter egg hunts didn't become popular until the 20th century. During this time, the decorated nests were replaced with baskets, which the Easter Bunny filled with treats and candy. Also, the hidden eggs that were left in the garden for children to find became more of a treasure hunt. Soon real eggs were replaced with plastic eggs that could store small prizes and candy for the lucky finder. And the Easter egg hunt as we know it, became a family favorite.
So this Easter if you're helping your kids during an Easter Egg Hunt, give a special shout out to Osterhase and hopefully you find a few eggs filled with lots of chocolate.