The idea of the Easter bunny came from Germany and was brought to North America by early German settlers.
As with many Christian holidays, Easter's beginnings were secular in origin. It was originally a pagan festival. The ancient Saxons would celebrate the return of spring with a festival commemorating their goddess of offspring and springtime, Eastre.
It was adapted by missionaries beginning in the second century. As the festival of Eastre happened at the same time of the year as the observance of the Resurrection of Christ, it was altered to change it to a Christian observance as the pagans were converted. The early name, Eastre was renamed to its modern spelling, Easter.