Some facts from the trivia book in my bathroom, the place I go to drown my sorrows and flush down Habs losses:
Some countries don’t have the Easter Bunny. In Australia, for example, rabbits are hated pests, so Australians have the “Easter Bilby,” a marsupial with rabbit-like ears.
The idea of the Easter Bunny originated with German immigrants who settled in Pennslvania in the 1700’s. Children believed that if they were well-behaved, the Osterhase (“Easter Rabbit”) would leave a nest of brightly coloured eggs on Easter morning. The idea began to catch on after the Civil War.
Since the 1800s, children in Sweden have celebrated Easter by dressing up as witches. According to Scandinavian legend, during the week before Easter, witches (disguised as townspeople most of the year) fly into the mountains to dance and celebrate the arrival of spring with the devil. Traditionally, the Swedes lit fires to drive the witches away. Today they set off fireworks. Children paint their faces, wear long skirts, and go from house to house, handing out small pictures they’ve drawn in the hopes of getting candy.
Below, the Easter Bilby