Easter: A Time To Parade?

I’ve never been to New York City’s Easter Parade. A stretch of Fifth Avenue is closed to vehicular traffic and what happens next is best described as a promenade. Years ago, it was a religious event, but it 

The parade once represented Christ's walk to His crucifixion.

Years ago, church members would retrace Christ’s steps to His crucifixion.

isn’t today! Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday has been cited as the earliest precursor to modern Easter Day Parades and in the Middle Ages, walking church members would see the “stations of the cross.” Then, these special processions were a means to understanding their faith.

Easter processions or parades have been part of Christian culture since its earliest beginnings. Back in 1662 a farmer sold a cow so he could afford some new finery and a superstition in Tudor times held that unless a person had new homespun cloth available at Easter, moths and

Dressed for the parade.

Dressing up for Easter.

crickets would eat the old goods. An old Irish adage stated “For Christmas, food and drink; for Easter, new clothes and by some it was even believed that if on Easter Sunday some part of one’s outfit was not new, one would not enjoy good luck during the year.”

Enthusiasts of the Easter Parade will tell you it is not something you watch but something you do. However many do go to watch it. In this casual society where Easter Bonnets are becoming harder to find they are in abundance at the parade and they range from elegant to outrageous. Remember the song, “Easter

Parade?” and the lyrics that goes like this: “In Your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it, You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade.” The Easter Parade is nothing like New York City’s Thanksgiving Day

A pretty Easter bonnet.

A pretty Easter bonnet.

Parade, and some say the parade has become an echo of Halloween. There are no floats, but chocolate shops are open, church services are held and there are activities for kids at Central Park. Also, among the strollers are people’s pets.

My mother was a “romantic,” “a daydreamer” and as she sang the song, “Easter Parade” I always thought she visualized herself being there. On Easter, she thought it was important to send her children to church, looking festive and renewed

My jaunty 'sailor' would never do for an Easter bonnet.

My jaunty ‘sailor’ would never do for an Easter bonnet.

even if it was only having used clothing tailored to fit us and shoes highly polished. It wasn’t to show off our finery, because we didn’t have any. I believe she always wished she could be a part of it. I’m not the daydreamer she was, so I wouldn’t stroll in the parade, but I’d enjoy seeing it. Much more important to me is to celebrate the true meaning of Easter. The parade is mostly without religious significance as paraders’ only aim appears to be to impress others with their finery.

This Easter Day can and will pass without millions of people being aware that to miss the true meaning of it, leaves them exempt of knowing that because of Christ’s love for them He made a way for them to have their Easter Parade (6)sins forgiven as He died for them on the cross. Many will miss the meaning of His Easter morn resurrection from the dead. Because He is a living Savior, and through belief in Him, we will join him in heaven someday. Now that’s worth a much greater celebration than the Easter Parade.

8 thoughts on “Easter: A Time To Parade?

  1. Every Sunday we dressed in our “Best”…Sunday Best…but for Easter Sunday we had new clothes and I had an Easter Bonnet. It wasn’t for show but an extra special day. My mother Rosie always had a hat on…every day of her life. That’s what i remember most about her other than she was always happy and she loved me.


  2. Parades are held in celebration; and what better time for a parade than at Easter. Our church had somewhat of a parade on Easter Sunday. Those that could walk and were able , started out the service/mass in the chapel….we held palms and crossed the parking lot, entering the church. It was a very meaningful service; and the church looked beautiful with all of the flowers on the altar. I always enjoy the smell of incense in the church, during the holidays. I did see two “Easter bonnets” in the pews, too. LOL Many people don’t own fine clothes, and they just can’t afford them. I think that our Lord is just happy to see our faces in church because he loves us and accepts us as we are (whether or not we are dressed in finery)…..God loves us with great “agape love”; and we should all try to love this way. Happy Easter!


    • Thanks for sharing how you celebrated Easter at a meaningful church service. Easter is the greatest reminder of God’s most wonderful love for us. Keep writing, Colleen, I appreciate how you’ve become one of the “yous” in shirlandyou.


  3. That was so interesting about all the things people believed about getting new clothes for Easter! I never would have guessed there would be so much attached to it. I’ve always thought that since, to me, it is the most important day of the year and we should dress up to show respect for it. I know as a kid that getting a new outfit for Easter made the day extra special!


    • I’m with you, Janine, since Easter is the most special day of the day, we should dress like it is, wearing our best in tribute to our risen Lord. Thanks for writing, love hearing from you.


  4. I grew up in a catholic Slovak/Russian home & we kept traditions like preparing an Easter basket to take to church to be blessed for the Easter and the meal. The basket contained pysanky (colored eggs decorated with beeswax ), Ciretz (egg/milk cheese), nut & poppyseed rolls,, ham, kielbasi, red beets & horseradish, butter with the cross made of whole cloves. We attended church on Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday. On Thursday & Saturday we would process through the church. On Friday we kept silence between the hours of 12-3 so we could focus on the cross & the gift of Jesus’s death for sin. I remember that stores & banks closed between these hours.


    • Hi Kathy: All the traditions you observed helped you to gain more respect for Easter. I remember, well, how the stores, etc. closed at 3 p.m. That action helped everyone sense the sacredness of the day. I do not understand your reference to amp? Can you explain? God bless you, Kathy, I’m sure your upbringing was a positive factor in your acceptance of Christ.


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