Why do we have bunnies on our Easter cards?

Nov 1, 2023 | Marketing Support, History


Legend has it that the so-called Easter bunny was originally a bird, who upset the goddess Eostre and she changed it into a fluffy, flightless creature! Nevertheless, it was still able to  build a nest and lay eggs in clever places around the garden as many a child would testify.

In fact, the Easter ‘bunny’ is should really be the Easter Hare. This large more cousin of the rabbit was the symbol of the goddess Eostre and of the Moon, which determines the date of Easter.

What Easter means to Christians

Easter means everything to Christians.  That first Easter morning when Mary Magdalene announced to her friends ‘I have seen the Lord’ meant that the Jesus story was far from over, in fact it was just the beginning.  

The resurrection from the grave of Jesus on Easter Day is what the Christian faith is built upon.  This is what Christians want to tell other people about at Easter.  Lent, the weeks leading up to Easter including Holy Week ending in Good Friday, is when Christians reflect and consider Jesus’s life and unconditional love, and how this impacts on Christian’s lives across the world.  

Christians love to send Easter Cards to share this story of God’s love for everyone and to encourage people in their journey of the faith that there is more to life than the ‘here and now’.

Egg power

Eggs are a well-known sign of rebirth, and particularly potent symbol of Spring and Easter in particular.

In the days when the Lenten fast was taken more literally, when people gave up rather more sweets, alcohol or other temptations for 40 days, eggs were hard-boiled in order to preserve them for when the fast was over.

Pasch eggs (or pace eggs) were hard-boiled and decorated, prior to being rolled down hills is a popular Easter game. The game is still played, most famously on the lawn of America’s White House.

Easter eggs these days come in many sizes, but none it is in the league of the monster sent by Napoleon III to a famous actress in Paris only a century ago. When she opened the package, out galloped a pair of piebald ponies pulling a magnificent carriage, driven by a group who have almost suffocated inside the wrapping.

The Tsar of Russian famously commissioned Carl Fabergé to produce gold Easter eggs, encrusted diamonds for the Tsarina at Easter. The Queen has a priceless collection of Fabergé eggs in the Royal Collection.

Easter cards

Easter will always be the beginning of Spring for us in the UK, and an occasion where we often connect again with family and loved ones.

We spent over £8million on single Easter cards in the UK in 2022 (excluding Easter packs). The average price of these individual Easter cards were £1.15*.

The Greeting Card Association provides a free toolkit for retailers to use remind everyone to buy their cards!

Retailers Easter Toolkit

Use the GCA’s free Easter Toolkit to promote the season with your customers, included are social media posts as well as signed that can be used in stores.

GCA’s 2024 toolkit – free to download for retailers

A Selection of Easter Cards by GCA Members

*Source: The Greeting Card Association Annual Market Report which covers UK greeting card sales for single greeting cards in 2022 compared to 2021. The report shows a strong ‘bounce back’ from 2020 when retail sales were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and closure of many non-essential retailers for long periods.

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