NYC Easter Parades 2010: Fancy Easter Bonnets and Greek Orthodox Celebrations

What the Village Halloween Parade is to Downtown, the Easter Fancy Hat parade is to Uptown; a chance to get dressed up and take to the streets in your quirkiest, home-made Easter bonnet. Not so much a parade, people mill about looking for the best bonnets, occasionally breaking into a waltz, swing dance or even song. It's as close as you're going to get to stepping into a classic movie.

Find out about this and other Easter Parades:

Easter Parade
Sunday, April 4, 2010, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Fifth Ave. between 49th and 57th Sts

Take a look at this slide show from last year's parade:

Greek Orthodox Easter in Astoria
This year the Orthodox Easter and Christian Easter will be celebrated on the same day. Astoria, Queens, with its large population of Greek-Americans, has become the site of one of the world's largest celebrations of this Orthodox holiday. The main outdoor festivities take place Friday night with ornate street processions, called epitaphios, which re-enact Christ's burial march. The community's four large Eastern Orthodox churches, St. Irene, St. Demetrios, St. Catherine and St. George, and St. Markella all join in the festivities which you can view from the corner of 23rd Ave and 31st St.

After a service at each church, the symbolic body of Christ, fashioned out of bundled sheets, is taken down from a cross and placed in a makeshift tomb, which is draped with an ornate tapestry and adorned with thousands of flowers. The tomb is then carried from each church on the shoulders of a dozen men and paraded through the neighborhood before returning to the church for a closing ceremony. This is truly a sight to be seen while priests chant in ancient Greek, brass bands play, incense fills the air and congregants march by holding tall candles.

Lefkos Pyrgos Café on 31st Ave. is an ideal spot to watch the procession and pick up some sweet tsoureki bread which is a Greek Easter tradition. It has a red egg on the top of the loaf which signifies the blood of Christ.

When and Where:
7:00pm - 9:30pm Procession of the Epitaphios
23rd Ave and 31st Street Astoria NY

The NY Times has a list of other religious Easter processions. Many of them have great music, dance or even animals.

This post contributed to by Leni Calas