Eostre (Ostara) was the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the spring and the dawn, and her name is the origin of the word Easter. Every year at the vernal equinox, people held a festival to celebrate the goddess. Eventually the Christian holiday celebrating the Resurrection was combined with the pagan festival to form Easter. According to legend, Eostre saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a hare. The hare became her sacred companion, retained its avian ability to lay eggs and over time developed into our modern-day Easter Bunny.