"The earliest known depiction of the Easter bunny in the United States was acquired by the Winterthur Museum in 2011. The drawing from 1800 is by schoolmaster Johann Conrad Gilbert, who immigrated to Pennsylvania from Germany. In fact, the Pennsylvania Germans brought many Easter traditions to America, which had their origins in the Pagan holiday celebrating the beginning of spring, known as Eostre. The hare is one of the most prolific animals in nature, so is considered a symbol of fertility, and children would prepare baskets of colorful eggs for the hare to sit on." [Source]
I love Easter, especially the colorful toys and vintage postcards.
Here's a link to a display of some of my Easter Toys collection that I had up at our local library a couple of years ago.
Easter always falls on the Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox which is every March 20th. This tradition was based on the lunar calendar to signify Passover. Hence the reason the Easter holiday moves around each year.
In 2015, it falls on April 5th. And 2016 it will be on March 27th. Learn more about the way Easter's date is calculated.
If you want to collect vintage Easter postcards, you'll find them in all price ranges, and a variety of subjects: the Easter Bunny, baby chicks, eggs, flowers, religious, comic and dressed animals, anthropomorphic, and so much more.
A few resource links:
- http://www.buzzfeed.com/erinlarosa/21-vintage-easter-cards-that-will-totally-creep-you-out (humor)