A superstition current in Tudor times held that unless a person had new homespun cloth available at Easter, moths and crickets would eat the old goods, and destructive rooks would nest in large numbers around the residence. An old Irish adage stated “For Christmas, food and drink; for Easter, new clothes,” and a 15th-century proverb from Poor Robin’s Almanack states that if on Easter Sunday some part of one’s outfit is not new, one will not enjoy good luck during the year:
At Easter let your clothes be new,
Or else be sure you will it rue.
Some authorities attribute the introduction of elaborate Easter ceremonies, including gaudy dress and display of personal finery, to the Roman Emperor Constantine I in the early part of the 4th century.