Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 1276 - Easter Bonnets

Did your kids have an Easter bonnet parade?


This is a picture of me when I was around the age of eight heading off to school dressed for my Easter bonnet parade. Yes I look grumpy. No I did not want to wear this hat.  Yes my Mum was very creative. No I did not win. Yes I was teased relentlessly.  No I did not fit under the Easter banner as I paraded around the quadrangle. Yes it has scarred me for life.  No I have not recreated this ensemble for my own kids.  Yes I can now see the funny side.  No this picture is not framed and hanging in my house.  Yes it probably should be.



Before Easter I asked my Facebook followers what they would like me to talk about on the blog.  Easter bonnets was suggested.  My friend Carole was extremely "enthused" by the subject matter (and not in an enthusiastic smiley way but a "let's get this all out in the open" kind of way.)  Like my Easter bonnet experience 35 years ago I get the impression that the Easter bonnet experience for her kids was somewhat emotional and perhaps a bit humiliating.

So, what is this Easter bonnet caper all about anyway?

How many schools still participate in this Easter festivity?

I have not come across it at my kids school(s).  They have made their own Easter hats or masks in Kindy or Year One and then done a bit of a parade around the school to show the big kids their creations. But these hats and eye wear were all "pre-fabricated" to a large extent and it was just the decorations that made them unique.  It wasn't a case of parent pitted against parent to see who had the most time on their hands and the most creative genius (which I gather is what went down when I was a kid).

As a result I have been spared the need to create enormous ice-cream container egg cups with foil wrapped balloons like my mother did.*  I discovered through my friend Carole though that many parents are still obligated to become overnight milliners.  And apparently it is important to stay in theme.  Dragons may not do so well at an Easter parade, but chickens, bunnies, eggs and bilbies do.  At least in Australia.

Head to New York and it's a different story.  The Easter bonnet parade held on Manhattan's 5th Avenue this weekend had a bevy of wondrous hats that included this bee hive.  With a history of over 100 years the New York parade has adults, kids and even pets, turn out in Easter inspired head wear to help celebrate the Easter holiday.

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Many of the hats displayed at this parade are inspired by spring (given Easter in the northern hemisphere is a spring celebration) and have very little to do with bunnies, eggs and chickens.  Their creations would sit well at our Melbourne Cup festival.

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Others would not do so well at Melbourne Cup but could do well in an Aussie primary school. As long as they could fit under that dreaded Easter banner.

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And some look like they have nothing to do with anything at all! They are just there to show their creativity.

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I am starting to think my egg cup may have been right on par!  And dragons might do quite well in New York too!

It's all very interesting.  And just a tad odd.

Did your kids have an Easter bonnet parade?

How do you feel about the whole Easter bonnet thing?


*My mother's creation was indeed ingenious!! I just felt a little "obvious" and a tad "exposed" as I had the biggest Easter hat any one in the history of the world had ever seen. And clearly my little eight year old face couldn't cope with the weight of it all.  Having to try and bend forward to get under the Easter banner without overbalancing and falling on my face was just an added challenge.  Having the year six kids point and laugh didn't do a whole lot for my self esteem either.  I know, I know Mum ... they were just jealous. 

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11 comments :

  1. My boys have never participated in one, our school just doesn't do it. I remember them fondly from my youth, and my primary school in Broken Hill still has a parade, my nieces and nephews participate. It is no longer like a comp though, which takes alot of pressure from parents, the prizes are given randomnly instead.

    You do indeed look grumpy...

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  2. our school does it but only up to year 2 (then it's too embarrassing for the kids)and my daughters preschool also has it - nothing prefab with those.
    one kid turned up with flowers all over her hat, not the $2 shop eggs and chicks like the rest of us, and that reminded me that traditionally it was flowers on the bonnet, not actual easter stuff. So where did that tradition come from and why did it change? Is that because it was a celebration of spring, like you mention?

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  3. My oldest did last year but the school didnt do it this year. Parents even shaved designs in boys hair!

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  4. My son's school does it. I went to Lincraft and the dollar store. Problem solved.
    I love the idea of keeping Christian-based traditions alive at school. We are embracing of all cultures after all.

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  5. We've never had an easter hat parade, and I had never even heard of them until last year when some bloggers were talking about it!
    I'm not sure whether I should be upset or relieved?

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  6. We survived our first Easter bonnet parade this year! My mother made me all sorts of amazing hats, so there was a high level of expectation for my first hat. It wasn't great, but it was cute and AJ was happy with it - so that's all that counts. I dread knowing that I'll be making Easter bonnets for the next six years at least - that's a lot of hot glue gun burns xx

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  7. That is the most magnificent bonnet I have ever seen! I had forgotten all about that tradition, until I read a few blog posts about it this week...we used to have a bonnet parade I think. Ice-cream container hats. I wonder what the significance of this tradition is? x

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  8. I made some at the last minute because I had to! And they were crap!

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  9. I remember having a few easter hat parades but not a lot of effort was put in by Mum or myself, they were always a last minute, night before, rush job with a few easter eggs and furry little chickens sticky taped on to any hat we could find!

    #teamIBOT was here!

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  10. My kids had some dodgy hats this year - we made a cardboard hat band and stuck random Easter bits and pieces to it. The kids proudly wore them and got a certificate for participation so I think it was worth the last minute dash to make them!

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  11. We had our first Easter hat parade this year, we didn't know we had to make one until the night before but the kids enjoyed it and happily wore their creations.

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