The first time I put my feet on Belgian ground in 1958 it was Easter, and I was very disappointed because I couldn't see a single Easter Bunny as I was used too since I was a child, no Easter decoration, there was just nothing.
In the shop windows I saw chocolate fishes symbolizing Good Friday but not one single Easter bunny. Unfortunately also little real yellow chicks which were considered as a toy, I found that rather cruel, some of them survived but most of them died. Mid 60th real chicks were not allowed anymore and they were replaced by fluffy fake chicks.
Later I learned that the bells represented the bells of Rome. The story said that as they ring every day of the year, they stop on Thursday until Saturday evening. During these days they go to Rome and rest from the whole year's work. Then on Easter Sunday they come back with a lot of eggs which they drop in parks or gardens or in flats and houses.
Today for all children Easter egg huntings are organized in parks by the city and colored eggs and chocolate eggs are hidden in the bushes or behind trees.
The chocolate shops which were full of chocolate bells, wrapped in golden foil and yellow ribbons in the past, were slowly, slowly replaced by the Easter Bunny, although some children still believe that the eggs and chocolates are brought by the bells of Rome.
With the arriving of the European Union the Easter Bunny arrived too and today you will see everywhere Easter Bunnies and eggs and only very few chocolate bells.