The Easter Bunny confuses me. 2,000 years ago, a near-naked man was stripped, beaten, tortured, and nailed through his hands and feet onto a wooden crucifix. Two days later he arguably rose from the dead, and two millennia later celebrations of the event involve benevolent, gift-bearing bunnies with fluffy white fur. How could such a cute and cuddly be the mascot for something so violent?
History has an answer. In the same way Peeps found Jesus, eggs and rabbits found Easter. It’s based on Eastre – a Teutonic lunar goddess whose sacred animal was the hare and whose fertility celebration occurred around the Vernal Equinox. In order to get converts, early Christians realized it was easier to subsume these practices than fight against them. So they took what they were given (a Pagan ritual), added what they had (the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth), and came up with a new holiday.
Still, despite its origins, the bunny seems misappropriated. Cruising the web, it appears that a few filmmakers would agree (or at least see the fuzzy animal as a ripe subject for satire). Check out the vids I watched this holiday weekend to see Easter Bunny interpretations with violent, Rabbit of Caerbannog associations.
Black20 – The Easter Bunny Hates You
The short that put the founders of Black20 production co. on the map and shows how much literal ass kicken’ the Easter
Bunny does the other 364 days a year.
###Sander Plug – Chocolade Haas
In collaboration with Dutch Filmmkaer Lernert Engelberts and to the tune of a Nathan Larson composition, Dutch Filmmaker Sander Plug created this pretty picture of chocolate bunny mutilation.
Fewdio – The Easter Bunny is Eating My Candy
Happy Tree Friends – Toothie’s Easter Smoochie
No bunnies here, but Toothy the Squirrel is cute enough to qualify. With a typical amount of Happy Tree Friends blood and gore, he shows the many dangers those Easter Eggs can hide.
If you celebrated, hope you had a happy holiday. Now it’s time to grab some Cadbury Crème Eggs before they sell out of the stores. Just be sure not to eat 50 at once.