Experts: Easter, Passover Rituals May Supersede Inflation Worries


Easter traditions will play a pivotal role in this year’s spending around this holiday, so consumers are likely to spend more on the gifts, clothing, and accessories that typically go with celebrating during this key April weekend, one retail prognosticator says.

This year, Easter is April 9. Pesach or Passover is from April 5 to April 13. While some retail observers say issues around food costs because of inflation may affect spending for Passover and Easter, the National Retail Federation (NRF) is feeling bullish.

The NRF released its Easter-spending predictions on March 20, and the Washington, D.C., trade group says its surveys show shoppers may spend a record $24 billion on the holiday this year. That is up from $20.8 billion last year and $21.7 billion in 2020.

Bunny earrings
Matara’s Fortune earrings ($4,841) include images of rabbits, clovers, and shamrock shapes to give their wearer a bit of luck this Easter (photo courtesy of Matara).

As Easter symbolizes new beginnings and a launchpad for spring activities, families are looking to have a good time—and that includes spending more on areas like gifts and clothing, according to NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

“As consumers plan to mark the occasion through a variety of traditions, retailers are dedicated to making this year a memorable holiday,” Shay said in a statement.

This year, the most popular activities for Easter include cooking a meal, visiting with family and friends, going to church, or planning kid-focused activities such as Easter egg hunts.

Vrai cross
This Vrai cross from its Divine Solitaires collection is unique because its design was blessed by His Holiness Pope Francis on Thanksgiving Day 2021 ($12,000). Its patent-pending design is made from one solid Vrai-created diamond solitaire (photo courtesy of Vrai).

Shoppers will be out in numbers in the days ahead of the holiday going to specialty and department stores, as well as local and small businesses, the NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey showed.

“We are seeing real Easter sales growth compared with pre-pandemic, and among the drivers are consumers who are planning to purchase more Easter clothing and gifts,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said.

Sales and promotions continue to motivate shoppers, the survey showed, but others are looking for social activities in stores with family or friends as well as exclusive or seasonal products. The survey took place March 1-8 and included about 8.500 U.S. adult consumers, NRF and Prosper said.

Rabbit ring
Konstantinos Leoussis, founder of KIL N.Y.C., made the Kouneli ring in honor of the Year of the Rabbit, making it perfect for Easter celebrations ($250). It is hand carved in wax and cast in either recycled sterling silver or 10k gold (photo courtesy of KIL N.Y.C). 

For jewelers, Easter brunch as well as families going to special events is a prime occasion to put together some pastel-colored gemstone looks or create specialty displays with religious jewelry. Easter baskets are another way for spouses to surprise one another with a diamond-laced goodie like huggies or a ring, so there may be an occasion for jewelers to offer Easter-themed or related treats to their windows.

This year, the rabbit has a twofold meaning for jewelry designers—not only is it a symbol of Easter, but it is the Year of the Rabbit overall.

Konstantinos Leoussis, founder of KIL N.Y.C., made his hand-carved rabbit ring in sterling silver in honor of both events. It is modeled on a pet rabbit he had years ago that won several country fairs for the softest coat.

“Making this ring was twofold for me. The 2023 Lunar New Year ushered in the Year of the Rabbit for many Asian communities, and I was also inspired by the rabbit in Easter symbolism,” Leoussis says. “Interestingly enough, I read once that the symbol of rabbits may originate in a pagan tradition and represent fertility as they tend to multiply quickly.”

Top: Dressing up for a Passover Seder or Easter brunch is made easy with a dramatic piece such as this Picchiotti gem ceramic high jewelry cuff ($133,300) in 18k yellow gold featuring 24.61 carats of multicolor sapphires and black ceramic (photo courtesy of Picchiotti). 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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