Easter has certainly evolved over the years as a cultural commodity. It is often seen as a period of minimalism and discipline which follows feast and fun. And different countries have different ways of celebration it.
In the west, one of the most popular Easter traditions that grew in significance during the 20thcentury was the spectacular Easter Parade in New York.
The Origin Of The Parade
Before we get into the New York Easter Parade, here’s a bit of history. The parades have occurred as early as during the life of Jesus Christ. There are biblical records that offer proof of two such parades taking place with Christ at the centre of them. This tradition continued during the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages, when followers would gather and walk to showcase the unity of their faith.
A New York Special
Easter Parades have forever been linked culturally to the Big Apple. There are processions that take place in other cities in the United States, but the one in New York grabs all the attention.
It began as a spontaneous celebration, but later evolved into a calendar event, showcasing the finest the city has to offer. In fact, the reason for its skyrocketing popularity in the 20thcentury was because of the people who came out dressed in their finest. The parade then was not as much about the religious and spiritual significance but a more material one. You could belong to any faith and still attend the parade, provided you were dressed is some sparkling new clothes.
The tradition continues even today with the attendees using the parade as a platform for showcasing their stylistic tendencies.
Rooted In Tradition
The New York parade may seem to be preoccupied with glitz and glamour, but it is also rooted in deep tradition. When the parades began in the 19thcentury, the famous churches such as the Trinity Episcopal Church and the St. Patrick’s Cathedral were the starting points. These places of worship would decorate the premises with elaborate floral arrangements. This practice laid the foundation for the extravagant style that we see today.
The Other Centres
As the popularity of the New York Easter Parade soared, other cities got involved. Philadelphia, then Boston, followed by Coney Island and Atlantic City. The parades in these places soon became tourist attractions.
The list of cities has grown over the years with prominent centres such as Richmond and New Orleans putting out colourful, extravagant displays.