One of the more entertaining activities associated with Easter is the Easter Hat Parade.
Locally it’s a fun day for the kids, with participants encouraged to create and wear their own Easter finery for their own schoolyard parade. It’s a simple relief from schoolwork as the first school term draws to an end.
There are suggestions the origins of the Easter Parade date back to Jesus’ reception in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. However in recent times the Easter Parade is usually associated with New York, with the social event starting in the 1870’s. What started as a spontaneous march down 5th Avenue became a city-wide festival, with up to a million onlookers in the years following The Great Depression.
Irving Berlin summarised the Easter Parade quite simply in verse;
In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it, You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.
While there’s no consensus as to the meaning behind Easter Hats and Parades, to be seen wearing a new hat for Easter was a simple expression, and continued the tradition of wearing new clothes at Easter.