LONDON, Apr 21, 2011/ FW/ — To Christians, wearing a new dress on Easter Sunday is part tradition, part religious. History attests that during the early days of Christianity, newly baptized Christians wore white linen robes at Easter to symbolize rebirth and a new life.
The tradition became “official” when Roman Emperor Constantine decreed that his court must wear the finest clothing on Easter.
Still, wearing new clothes in spring pre-dates Christianity; worshippers of Ostera, the Germanic goddess of spring believed that wearing new clothes on the vernal equinox brought good luck.
Hence, it is not surprising that the custom also exists in Islamic countries. The Iranian new year, celebrated on the first day of Spring, has traditions rooted in the ancient pre-Islamic past. These traditions include spring cleaning and wearing new clothes to signify renewal and optimism.
Similarly, the Chinese have celebrated its spring festival, also known as Lunar New Year, by wearing new clothes. It symbolized not only new beginnings, but the idea that people have more than they possibly need.
Here in the UK, even during the 1500s, the practice is already rooted. A 15th-century proverb from Poor Robin’s Almanack stated that if one’s clothes on Easter were not new, one would have bad luck: “At Easter let your clothes be new; Or else for sure you will it rue.”
In the 16th Century during the Tudor reign, it was believed that unless a person wore new garments at Easter, moths would eat the old ones, and evil crows would nest around their homes.
Today, we love wearing new clothes during spring time because there is no excuse not to! Whether its tradition, religion or superstition, we always go shopping for new dresses when the flowers start to bloom.
After all, we are tired of wearing our winter tights and woolen pullovers. The sun is out and the weather is warm.