Despite the fact that it’s a religious festival, the date is determined by the moon - Easter Sunday is always the Sunday which follows the first full moon after 21st March. Confusing?
To make things more complicated, Easter Sunday is not the same over Europe, because Western churches use the Gregorian calendar and Eastern churches the Julian calendar.
In pre-Christian times there was a pagan festival in March to celebrate the arrival of spring, and in particular Eostre who was the Goddess of Spring.
When I was a young boy, Easter wasn’t really important in Scottish life. Holy Week wasn’t observed and as for Good Friday - that was the day we got hot cross buns! Easter Monday was the Spring holiday in Glasgow, but in many other places the holiday was either the Monday before or the Monday after.
On Sunday of course we attended church. That was certainly an important occasion because, apart from the religious significance, Easter Sunday was the day when all the women and girls turned out in new hats, dresses, etc. And I’m sure there was quite a bit of rivalry between certain ladies!
It was just recently I learned that by the end of the 16th century it had become the fashion to wear new clothes at Easter. Much later, Poor Robin who was an 18th century almanac maker is recorded as saying -
At Easter let your clothes be new
Or else be sure you will it rue.
And new bonnets leads us to Easter Parades. This is an American cultural event which over the years has spread to other parts of the world. I was pleased to find this photograph of the 1900 New York parade on 5th Avenue.
Of course I just had to include Irving Berlin’s famous song, and I liked this cheery version.
Thanks to David of http://www.livevideo.com/Blueeagle48 for the video
Since more and more folk have been visiting JOHN’S GALLERY lately, I’ve decided to add more paintings to the site. This will begin on Saturday with 5 paintings by Sir Edwin Landseer. http://johnsgallery.blogspot.com
I’ve been planning 2 new blogs and the first of those starts on Tuesday next week - “Let’s hear that song again!” which features dance band music of the 1930s.
And the other is “That was another good read!” which begins on Wednesday 4th May. I’ve subtitled it - Great moments from Classic Fiction.