In many places, rabbits adorn windows and bits of landscape at Easter time, but where I live this is a year-round phenomenon.
Due to a legendary over-breeding and subsequent infestation of rabbits in the fields of Bessungen sometime in the late 16th century, this region of modern-day Darmstadt and by extension its people, have come to be associated with them. At the time of the French revolution with their occupation of this region and lands west, a term was coined for the Bessungers: lapin (the French for rabbit). This morphed at some point into lapping, the term used today.
So, for spending Easter without family or religions obligations, I decided to shoot some rabbits (with my camera). Of course the area has developed quite a bit in the last couple hundred years, so it’s quite rare these days that one sees a real rabbit in Bessungen. Instead, my tour of the neighborhood would be in search of rabbits in other forms. This would start, of course, with the sculpture in front of the local elementary school, perhaps the most immediately recognizable leporine depiction in town.
It is impossible not to notice the rabbits in shop windows along the way.
And indeed in the very names and logos of local businesses..
However, the place to get a traditional meal with your non-local friend is clearly at Weinwirtschaft Heiping, where this sign greets one out front:My last stop on the rabbit hunt was the mural on my street:
The good people of Bessungen clearly like to distinguish themselves from their neighbors in the rest of Darmstadt. They have their own Christmas market, their own spring festival, and as you can see, they also have a peculiar yet lovable mascot to represent all of their quirkiness.