Why do bunnies deliver chocolate eggs at Easter?

04 Apr 2017 13:31:56.963

PA 66/17

A free event at The University of Nottingham will give members of the public the chance to learn everything they ever wanted to know about the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church.

When you consider Easter traditions there are many un-answered question — should the date be fixed? Was it originally a Pagan festival? Why do rabbits deliver chocolate eggs on the anniversary of Jesus’s resurrection?

 If you are interested in the answers to these questions and more — then you should visit a public debate at The University of Nottingham on Thursday 6 April.

Dr Naomi Sykes, from the Unviersity, and organiser of the event, said:"Every Easter we give and receive presents of chocolate eggs, purportedly delivered by the Easter bunny. But why? It’s amazing to me how people, myself included, take part in traditions that they don’t understand.

"So, we’ve started this project to explore the origins of Easter, its component customs, and animals (rabbits, hares and chickens – none are native to Britain). All aspects of Easter were imported to Britain from abroad and the festival is, therefore, an excellent example of how cultural and biological ‘aliens’ can, and have, made a positive contribution to Britain’s bio-cultural heritage."

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Fixing Easter


‘Fixing Easter’ will be held on 6 April from 6-7pm in the Humanities Building on University Park in Nottingham.

The event is being held as part of a research project called ‘The Easter E.G – Shifting Baselines and Changing Perceptions of Biological and Cultural Aliens’.

The debate will be led by speakers from a range of disciplines and perspectives. Come and find out more about Easter and prepare to have your ideologies rocked!

The speakers include:

  • Adrian Bott (author, and researcher of magic and paganism)
  • Dr Frances Knight (Theology and Religious Studies, University of Nottingham)
  • Professor Martin Henig (Honorary Visiting Professor, Institute of Archaeology, UCL)
  • Professor Thomas O’Loughlin (Theology and Religious Studies, University of Nottingham)
  • Dr Philip Shaw (English Language and Old English, University of Leicester)
  • Dr Julia Best (Zooarchaeology, Bournemouth University)

The event is free to attend and you can register at fixingeaster.eventbrite.co.uk

The debate will be followed by a wine reception. For all enquiries please email naomi.sykes@nottingham.ac.uk

— Ends —

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email mediahub@nottingham.ac.uk or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…



Story credits

More information is available from  Dr Naomi Sykes in the School of Humanities at Naomi.sykes@nottingham.ac.uk

Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email: charlotte.anscombe@nottingham.ac.uk  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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