Big hats and packed pews are just the beginning.
Easter can bring at least some degree of inner conflict to the South. Those of us who celebrate it know that Easter Sunday is a holy day, to be celebrated with joy, reverence, and gratitude. And yet we can get caught up in all the pageantry—the food, the fashion, the Peeps. Some ladies of the church have speculated as to whether the cold snap that always seems to strike the South on Easter weekend is the Good Lord’s way of reminding us that Easter is a worship experience, not Project Runway. After all, it’s hard to be prideful about your outfit when you're shaking in your organza.
What are some of our region's favorite Easter traditions? We asked our Facebook braintrust to help us list the things you'll only see in the South on Easter weekend. What did we miss?
- Easter baskets with the cellophane wrapping completely destroyed and half the candy eaten before church.
- Chocolate bunnies . . . with at least one ear missing.
Our Sunday Best
- New outfits and new shoes for the whole family on Easter Sunday. Speaking of which . . .
- Church hats that could hold their own at the Kentucky Derby.
- Little girls in poufy dresses, wearing hair bows bigger than they are. (Aren't they just precious??)
- Little boys tugging at their bowties, which are color-coordinated with their seersucker jackets. (Ooooooh! They are such the little men!)
- Lots and lots of lace. And patent leather shoes.
- Dotted Swiss dresses in yellow, pink, and lilac.
- Babies in bonnets.
- White gloves.
- Men looking mighty uncomfortable cinched up in the pastel sport coats their wives bought for them. (Daddy’ll wear it once more to a cousin’s summer wedding and never put it on again.)
- First acceptable appearance of white—especially shoes.
- Families wearing their new Easter outfits, posing for portraits in front of azalea bushes.
Sunday Go to Meetin'
- Overflowing church parking lots.
- Congregations struggling to hit the high notes on demanding Easter hymns.
- Churchgoers frantically searching for their Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.
- "Special music."
- Rumpled young parents arriving late at the family Easter lunch because their two toddlers went to sleep on them during “big church.”
- Whole families trading their Easter finery for shorts, flip-flops, and T-shirts the minute they get home.
- Ham and potato salad.
- Deviled eggs served in REAL deviled egg plates.
The Family Easter Egg Hunt
- Dozens and dozens of eggs boiled and dyed for the big egg hunt (though we will sometimes had a few plastic eggs with cold cash inside).
- Grown men carrying pastel Easter baskets for little girls who don’t want to be bothered with baggage while they look for the prize egg.
- Grown men in bunny costumes for the big egg hunt.
- Grown men hoping none of their fishing buddies find out they got talked into wearing a bunny costume.
We're sure there are lots more "only Southerners" ideas floating around out there. Got some to share? Let us know in "comments." Happy Easter!
This story originally appeared on Southern Living.