• Rachel Davies - Retro Curator

Looking Back at the Easter Traditions Our Grandparents Celebrated Years Ago

Recently I was reminiscing about the Easter's I spent as a child. It got me wondering about other Easter traditions from the past.

Here are seven old fashioned Easter celebrations from the years gone by.

Easter Bonnets

I remember at Easter time, children and adults alike put on their Sunday best and headed to church. One year, my Aunt sewed my sister and I special Easter outfits. Matching Easter dresses complete with the traditional Easter bonnet. I was thrilled, I never wore one before and was so excited to try it on and wear it on Easter Sunday.

Easter bonnets were a staple back in the day. In the 1940's and 1950's all sorts of unique bonnets and hats were worn to mass on Easter Sunday.

Mine however, being the 1970's, was more reminiscent of Holly Hobbie or Laura Ingalls.

Shopping tip : Find Vintage Easter Hats and Bonnets here

Chocolate Easter Bunny

Of course another Easter Tradition is the chocolate Easter bunny. It is rumored that the hollow chocolate Easter bunny gained popularity for dental reasons. According to a popular confectioner the solid version was likely to break a tooth biting into it.

This quote is from Country Living:

"Ever wondered why this Easter candy must-have usually has an empty filling? According to one of the oldest chocolate bunny confectionaries, R.M. Palmer, there's a method to the madness: dental health. "If you had a larger-size bunny and it was solid chocolate, it would be like a brick; you’d be breaking teeth," Mark Schlott, executive vice president of operations, explained to Smithsonian."

Easter Corsages

Another long lost Easter tradition is the Easter corsage. Men would purchase them for the lady in their life. Pining them on their mother or wife's fancy Easter dress or wrist. How sweet is that? Who wouldn't love to wear a beautiful corsage from the one they love.

This quote is from Pro Flowers:

"Corsages were usually pinned on upside down, with the bow at the top, and were much larger than the corsages we see today. When choosing your corsage, it’s important to take into account the color of your dress. Matching the fabric to the bloom would be perfect, but neutral colors like white, peach or cream can go with a variety of hues."

Shopping tip : Find Vintage Corsages for sale here.

The Easter Feast

The Easter meal is a long honored tradition that still continues today. Families gather 'round the table and celebrate a variety of dishes. Ham being the most popular part of the Easter feast.

Catholics would usually give up certain sweets and treats for Lent and Easter would culminate in finally splurging on the things they had done without for 40 days.

Seeing these recipes reminded me of one of my Birthday's as a child. One year it fell on Easter and my Mum made me a special Easter Bunny Cake. He was so cute with his fluffy coconut fur, licorice whiskers and gumdrop nose.

The recipe was featured in a cookbook distributed by Baker's Coconut.

Shopping tip : Find Vintage Cake Recipe Cookbooks here.

The Easter Egg Hunt

No Easter celebration would be complete without the traditional Easter egg hunt. Every family has their own rules.

In our house there was one special decorated egg that was declared the grand prize if found. This was usually a five dollar bill and my parent's delighted in taking great care and ingenuity in hiding it. Often resorting to the "Your getting cold, warm or hot" clues to help us to find it.

One year I recall it was buried in a potted plant. It took us hours to find...clever.

These days most people use chocolate or plastic eggs for the hunt, which is a good idea for families that own pets. Hungry dogs, an endless supply of hard boiled eggs and a family get together aren't a good mix, trust me.

Sugar Easter Eggs

One of my favorite items inside my Easter basket, besides the jelly belly jelly beans, was the sugar egg. I was fascinated by it's intricate design and detailed scene hiding inside. It sparked my imagination with it's playful dioramas.

Shopping Tip : Find Vintage Sugar Easter Eggs here.

And that wraps up my little walk down memory lane reminiscing about Easter back in the "good old days".

Hollywood Celebrities Dressed As Easter Bunnies

I will close this post out with a tradition that you wouldn't dare see politically correct Hollywood participating in nowadays. Back in the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's Hollywood actresses posed as the Easter bunny and did many promotional photos celebrating Easter.

Feel free to share your Easter memories in the comment section below. We'd love to go down memory lane with you.

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