Spring is here as marked by the Spring Equinox on March 20. And the most profound sign of spring is 15 days later, which is Easter, the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Easter has been celebrated as the most important and significant Christian holiday but almost choked out with all the many other customs. But the work of the Cross and the historic resurrection of Christ is the paramount reason for Easter, which is the basis of the Christian faith. Christ not only rose from the dead, but also appeared to a number of witnesses as he had foretold. It is thoroughly and historically a documented fact.
However, Easter also means traditions. Dying Easter eggs, filling Easter baskets, enjoying an Easter brunch, hunting for colored eggs, and watching Easter movies have been the customs of many all over the world.
When women of my generation were kids, Easter was the turning point transition between winter and spring. There were certain customs that we followed; one being the code of dress.
During the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, white slacks or white skirts (yes, white skirts were all the rage then) weren’t worn until Easter. At Easter, we traded our dark colors for spring weights and colors. Women looked forwarded to this change.
White shoes were now permissible. And it was at Easter that 12 or 13 year-olds could now wear heels — white heels. Heels were 2 inches in height and were considered “grown up.” The snow might still be on the ground, but inarguably, it didn’t matter. It was now spring.
Traditionally, in preparation for Easter, a new dress and hat (maybe gloves) were necessities. Everyone knew that. Maybe the men got a new tie, but I am not sure.
The “Easter Parade” was in vogue. Towns didn’t have parades of course, but dressed in their Easter finery, families would eat out for Easter dinner so that everyone could enjoy breaking forth with spring apparel. Churches often had brunch after the Easter service.
It was customary for affluent New Yorkers to strut their stuff after coming out of mass in beautiful and well-to-do Fifth Avenue Churches. This tradition became the basis of the modern, and decidedly less elitist, “Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival” in New York. The popular song, “Easter Parade” said it all. Here’s a line from the chorus:
“In my Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it,
I’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.”
Do any of you recognize this song?
Happy Easter blessings to you all this Easter Sunday!
Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached email@example.com