Most of us wonder why rabbits are associated with Easter Sunday. While there are varying explanations, some sources say it’s because bunnies, being active procreators, symbolize new life and fertility. In medieval religious circles, the hare was believed to be a hermaphrodite—meaning it could procreate without losing its virginity. Thus, many deemed the hare a fitting symbol of the Virgin Mary. This explains why hares are frequently seen in medieval religious art.
German Lutherans developed a folkloric ritual in which a judge-like hare would distinguish between well and poorly-behaved children and reward the good ones with candy and colored egg (similar to Santa Claus).
In recognition of Easter Sunday, we gathered a few more fun facts about rabbits:
- Rabbits can live for an average of 8 to 9 years. Neutered or spayed rabbits have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
- Rabbits are fast runners. Rabbits can run up to 30 and 40 mph.
- A female rabbit (“doe”) may contribute to over 100 offspring in a year. This includes children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. A doe’s average litter size is between 4 to 12 babies, and they can start mating as early as 4 to 7 months. The gestation period of a rabbit is just 30 days.
- Rabbits love attention. Rabbits are social creatures. If you own one or have a herd, keep in mind that they require a good deal of your attention/play time.
- Watch out for the “binky.” And mind you, binky is a verb! This is a behavior where happy rabbits jump in the air, twist, and spin around. Don’t get annoyed if your rabbits keep jumping, twisting, and spinning. They’re just happy.
- A rabbit’s teeth never stop growing. If you have a rabbit, you’ll notice that their 28 teeth keep enlarging as they age. Don’t panic, that’s normal (for not just the teeth, but their nails, too).
- They are “crepuscular.” This means that rabbits are most active at dusk and dawn.