In the 1800’s bonnets were all the fashion rave and big business. Every town, big or small, had a milliners shop lined with hats and filled with bins with flowers, ribbons and other haberdashery. While the hat fad has died out here in the US, Easter still creates a boom in bonnet sales, and you can find Easter Bonnet decorating contests all over the states. It’s a fun tradition for welcoming in a new spring, but there is more to Easter bonnets than ribbons and frills.
Easter is a time of spiritual rebirth for the devote, and a turning of the seasons, when new growth immerges from the dormant winter soil, flowers blooming, nature bursting to new life. The Easter bonnet symbolizes this cycle, its usually rounded shape representing the sun, and the colorful trimmings of flowers, leaves and ribbons a symbol of the fresh new life of the new season.
A website I visited (couldn’t find the link) stated that after the Civil War ended Easter was declared the “Sunday of Joy” and mothers and daughters who’d been in mourning for so long, shed their dark attire and celebrated in bright dresses and colorful bonnets, and competitions were held for the most festive bonnets.
Growing up I always looked forward to a new Easter outfit, and sometimes a bonnet. My childhood outfits were usually white with bright pinks, oranges, greens and yellows—I’m recalling quite a bit of plaid. Living in California, a new swimsuit was always in my basket—and Easter meant our first jump into the pool—and our teeth were usually chattering after ten minutes or so. This year I won’t be jumping into any pools (my boys have already been asking—ah, the thick skin of youth!), but I have a straw bonnet with a pink flower on the back.
How about you? Any bonnet traditions in your home growing up?
In the spirit of Easter, this spring butterfly bunny will personally deliver a signed copy of BRIDE OF SHADOW CANYON to one lucky poster, along with a GUNSLINGER’S UNTAMED BRIDE beaded bookmark and postcard. Three runner-up winners will receive a GUNSLINGER beaded bookmark and postcard.
Wishing everyone a Joyous Spring and Happy Easter!