6 Easter Traditions You Will Only Find in the South
Admittedly, there are quite a few aspects of Southern life that I've been slow to embrace as a born and bred Georgian. The mosquitoes, humidity, and slow pace immediately come to mind. Beyond that, however, there really is no place like the South, which is why when it comes to celebrating Easter and the fresh promises of spring, we do things a little differently down here. While every region has their own way of commemorating the holiday, there are some time-honored Easter traditions that are unique to the South. Here are six of the most common, and you can bet deviled eggs, seersucker, itchy dresses, and ham made the list.
We break out our Sunday's best for Sunrise church service.
Growing up, it was a big deal to go shopping for an Easter Sunday outfit. If memory serves me correctly, the rules were very strict. Like most young girls, I wore lace and ruffles every Easter, and by the end of church service, I'd have scratches on my arms and legs from those awful itchy and puffy dresses. But you know, what mama wants, mama gets. Boys, however, can play it more cool in breathable seersucker and dapper bow ties. Suffice it to say, Easter is a special and stylish occasion for kids and adults to play dress up in the finest spring duds—and we learned last year that it also applies to staying home. If this Easter sees another service that's live-streamed instead of attended, you can bet we'll still be donning our Sunday best.
We take dyeing and hiding Easter eggs very seriously.
After church, there's usually the highly-anticipated Easter egg hunt before lunch. If you've ever seen the film Steel Magnolias, then you know what a true Southern egg hunt should look like. There are two rules we typical abide by when it comes to the egg portion of the celebration. First, according to religious lore, always dye the eggs on Good Friday (and because you probably won't have time on Easter Sunday). You can use a simple grocery store kit or get creative with some of our easy DIY decorating ideas. Second, hide only the candy-filled plastic eggs on Easter Sunday. That's all it takes to plan an Easter egg hunt that's bunny- and Ouiser-approved.
We're never too old for Easter baskets.
Who says adults can't wake up to a basket full of goodies on Easter Sunday? And no, we're not talking marshmallow peeps, jelly beans, and Cadbury Crème Eggs. More and more baskets, including these garden varieties, are being crafted and carefully curated to suit the taste of the more young-at-heart Southern moms.
We decorate the house with Easter trees.
Decorative trees aren't just reserved for Christmas in the South, as we often bring tradition indoors with an Easter tree centerpiece. Made with edible or adorned eggs hanging from branches, these trees bring a festive focal point to our homes. Follow this step-by-step tutorial to create your very own candy Easter tree.
We eat very specific foods, and a lot of it.
Holidays give us the perfect excuse for eating, decorating, and sharing special traditions—the three things we love most here in the South (besides porch sitting). While hot cross buns are typically served on Good Friday, we reserve most everything else for the feast on Sunday, which usually includes glazed ham, potato salad, and sugar-laden sweet tea or lemonade. Pineapple casserole, ambrosia, and grandma's famous coconut cake will also make the menu—just don't forget the star of the relish tray: delicious, deviled eggs.
We probably won't don our white shoes before Easter.
You don't mess with tradition in the South, which means not wearing white shoes before Easter. Generally, we bust out the white soles around Memorial Day. So if you have an Easter ensemble that would look great with white shoes, you can either go for the gusto or opt for a pair that's either ivory or neutral. That being said, the jury is still out on what to do about white heels post-Labor Day.