The History of the Easter Bonnet

Most of us made Easter bonnets at school and proudly wore them home from school much to the horror of our parents, trailing with streamers and other oddities. When looking into where this originated from we found a rich history that is still very much alive today.

Traditionally Easter was a time that people bought a new hat, it was the end of lent and signified the start of a new season, it also meant that you attended church for three days in a row. It soon became a feature of Easter with people adorning their new items to wear to church and inter village excitement would build over who was wearing the latest fashions.


It is also very much tied to the American tradition of The Easter Parade, which emerged in the 1870s after the end of the Civil War.¬†The first Easter Parade was the Fifth Avenue Parade in New York in 1870, it appears the the event wasn’t organised but that people naturally headed towards Fifth Avenue after leaving church and strolled down it wearing their pharmacy online finest. It seems that each year¬†successively popularity gained reaching it’s peak in the 1940’s.

This has a lot to do with the Film ‘Easter Parade’ starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland that was released in 1948. The part of the film where they don their finest and parade down Fifth Avenue really set in stone the tradition and the Easter parade song was hugely popular. It is estimated that during the 1940s, nearly a million people attended the Easter canadian pharmacy parade! We have collated some of our favourite Easter bonnets from this time and we couldn’t believe how elaborate some of them were!

Circa 1940, A chicken hatches out of egg on a woman's hat, during an Easter parade in New York. (Photo by Ruth Sondak/FPG/Getty Images)