Why Wear Easter Bonnets?  

By |2023-04-08T15:42:49-05:00April 10th, 2023|Holidays|0 Comments

I saw no Easter bonnets at my church on Easter Sunday. I wasn’t surprised. The tradition of wearing any hat much less Easter bonnets seems to have all but disappeared in today’s culture.

Once upon a time, it was very important to have not only a new bonnet but a new outfit for Easter Sunday too. I’m guessing many of us have pictures like this buried in old photo albums.

The practice of new finery for Easter Sunday originated in the early church. Converts wore white garments on Sunday to identify themselves with Christ. The white symbolized purity and newness of life and became a powerful and tangible way to signify the life-altering spiritual transformation that had taken place.

In the 19th Century, there was even an Easter parade in New York City from St. Patrick’s Cathedral down Fifth Avenue. An after-church cultural event primarily for the well-to-do who decked out in new and fashionable clothing, and strolled from their own church to others to see and be seen.

The official parade’s popularity declined significantly as people came to view the frolic in finery as an ostentatious display of wealth and beauty.

Irving Berlin’s 1948 song “In Your Easter Bonnet” from the movie Easter Parade renewed the popularity of wearing an Easter bonnet. That’s why so many of us have pictures like the one above of me, my sister, and my brother posed outside my grandmother’s house on an Easter Sunday morning after church.

Although the parade falderal of bygone days is no longer, you might see some Easter parade strollers if you’re in New York City some Easter Sunday.

Check out these fabulous Easter bonnets from the 2018 New York Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival on 5th Avenue, Manhattan near St.Patrick’s Cathedral.