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Friday 31 March 2023 Dublin: 11°C
# history lesson
From the photo archives: Easter Sunday through the 20th century
Easter around the world, from 1929 to 1979.

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS DIFFER across the globe, with variations of similar themes seen in distant countries.

As many families celebrate today with egg hunts and Simnel cake, we took a pictorial stroll through our Easter Sunday photograph archives and came up with some gems.

Although many aspects of the celebrations remain happily unchanged (read: chocolate), there are some motifs that we are quite glad to have left behind. See: the Easter bonnet.

Note: We’ve included some of the original photo captions for an authentic experience. Enjoy!


Famous New Yorker John D. Rockefeller Junior he gets ready for a stroll along Fifth Avenue in New York, all set for the Easter Sunday Parade on 31 March 1929. (AP Photo)


More than 30,000 Americans gathered at sunrise on Easter Sunday, 17 April 1938 in the famous Hollywood Bowl. The white cross visible in the image is formed by 300 people. (AP Photo)


Academy Award Winner Joan Crawford and her seven-year-old daughter Christina wear identical bonnets in Los Angeles on 17 April 1946. The initial photo caption read: "Clustered over the pink straw brims are pink sweet peas, caught at the crown with perky turquoise bows." Perky! (AP Photo)


Ten-month old quads, Frances, Jennifer, Elizabeth and Bridget Good meet chicks for the first time on Easter Sunday 1949. The Goods were the first quads born by Caesarean section and became media darlings in the UK. (PA Archive)


Growing up: the Good quads from Bristol just a year later with some chocolate eggs. (Image: PA Archive)


Original caption: "The latest thing in Easter bonnets is shown by Lulu, star attraction at the Bloomington Zoo, Illinois, who had this expression when she posed for photographer 28 March 1959." (AP Photo)


This 1961 child is showing us all what we should be doing today. (Topham/PA Images)

Original caption: "Mother love, Bassett hound style, takes on all comers. These two ducklings, leftover from Easters, at the home of Susan Norris, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James D. Norris, are constant companions of her sleepy-eyed, long-eared hours named Henrietta in Miami, Florida, 13 April 1961. The ears are especially handy during cool weather." (AP Photo)


No, that's not an Irish model from back in the day. It is French soprano Mathe Altery tasting her own-recipe Easter eggs on 19 April 1962 in Paris. (AP Photo)


But they did make models hold stuff they really didn't want to hold back in the day too, seemingly. Don't think this one was shot on Grafton Street though. (Barratts/S&G Barratts/Empics Archive)

President John F. Kennedy and family pose outside the Palm Beach home of the president's father after a private Easter Service 14 April 1963. From left are first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, three-year-old John Jr, President Kennedy and five-year-old Caroline. (AP Photo)


Easter Sunday massgoers leave St. Patrick's Cathedral to join the throngs already parading on New York City's Fifth Avenue in the traditional Easter Parade on 18 April 1965. Fifth Avenue was closed to traffic to "permit the paraders to show off colourful spring bonnets and frocks and window shop without interference". (AP Photo/John Lindsay)

Original caption: All decked out in Easter Finery, these French poodles take part in the Easter parade on Fifth Avenue in New York. Their outfits include light blue capes and hats, accented with jewelled collars. The poodles, Petite Amour, left, and Cha Cha, are owned by Mrs. Lilly Ellmer of New York City. (AP Photo/Dave Pickoff)


Original caption: Glamorous Gabor Sisters, Zsa Zsa, left, and Eva, right, flank their mother, Jolie Gabor, as they give a preview of the bonnets they'll be wearing on Easter. Preview was in the costume jewellery shop of Mama Gabor in New York on 30 March 1966. Mama Gabor is due to get three new sons-in-law on each of the next three Sundays. Magda Gabor, the third of the sisters, will marry Arthur Gallucci, a long island constructor, on Easter Sunday. The following Sunday Eva will marry Dr. John Williams of Beverly Hills, California, in her mother's Westport, Conneticut, home. Zsa Zsa will marry Hal B. Hayes, a Los Angeles constructor, on the third Sunday. (AP Photo/Matty Zimmerman)

Coco the Clown places a floral Easter bonnet on Targa's head in preparation for a New York parade on 5 April. (AP Photo)

Bunny-eared Rockettes relax during rehearsals of their Easter show. The Rockettes Easter and Christmas shows were highlights of New York's Music Hall and thousands lined up to get into the theatre before show time. (AP Photo)


The caption from this photo of Tricia Nixon said the White House staffer in the bunny costume wished to remain anonymous. Understandable. The White House bunny became quite the tradition in DC.


Greek Premier Georgios Papadopoulos, left, dances with Evzonos Royalal Guards, a custom within the traditional Easter egg cracking ceremony during a visit to military units near Athens on 9 April 1972. (AP Photo)


As President Jimmy Carter and Mrs Rosalynn Carter were leaving the White House for a weekend at Camp David the presidential retreat the Easter bunny jumped out of the bushes on South Lawn and greeted them in Washington on 24 March 1978. (AP Photo/Jeff Taylor)


Original caption: Mrs Margaret Thatcher dressed for industry as she tries her hand at packing Easter eggs at Cadbury's Bournville factory. The Tory leader visited the factory as part of her Midlands electioneering tour.

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