The Origin of the Esther bunny

March 7, 2012

Usually the bunny is referred to the Christian festival of Easter which replaced the biblical festival of Passover. While in many languages the Christian festival still reminds the Jewish “pessach” פסח origin (Latin: pascha; Russian: Пасха; French: Pâques; Greek: πάσχα; Italian: Pasqua; Dutch: Pasen; etc.), Germanic languages have „easter“ instead (German: Oster; etc.), in recent centuries derived from a notional Germanic goddess “Eastr”, “Ostera”, “Etcetera” … The most likely explanation of course would be a connection to oriental goddess “Ishtar”, whose tree cult also is present in winter time all over Europe, but for convenience or political reasons this usually is no considered option. However, be it as it marches, ummm, … may … we like to introduce another less likely, but finally somewhat puzzling answer to a question not raised so far: the Augsburg Esther Bunny who reads Megilat Esther, the Ester – Hase which in German combines Purim with spring time, what derives from Persian puns with the خرگوش and more older cuneiform script. Would you mind eating Zimmes צימעס instead of sweets like Hamantash – big deal? Probably. Just realize that the awkward “Hamantashn thing” develops more and more to be a(meal) replacement of Christian housel – where symbolically you would eat a person, i.e. Haman, resp. his many many (for what reason sweet?) ears … and you will drink lots of wine with it.

Esterhase ester bunny

What’s up, Mordechai  ..?”


Ostern wird gewöhnlich von einer imaginären, sonst nicht nachweisbaren Göttin “ostera” oder “Ister”, etc. abgeleitet, um der wesentlich wahrscheinlicheren Ableitung von Ischtar/Ischar zu entgehen, deren Baumkult im Winter freilich weit verbreitet ist. Wir schlagen deshalb alternativ den Augsburger Esther-Hasen vor, der aus dem Busch springt, und das “Buch Ester” liest. Dazu isst man dann eben Zimmes anstelle von klebrig-süßen Hamantaschen. Letzteres tendiert zunehmend zu einer Art karnevalistischem Abendmahlersatz. Man isst dabei ja zumindest symbolisch den Körper einer Person, oder Teile davon, wie die (warum auch immer) süßen Ohren des Haman und trinkt Wein dazu, bis man Haman und … wen oder was gleich nochmal verwechselt?