Easter is around the corner, which mean’s hubby’s favourite day of the year is coming – day after Easter chocolate sales!!! On a serious note though, Easter brings with it so many things we value here at P2P, such as family, love and connection, and of course, FOOD!!!
So let’s talk traditional Easter fare, where Lamb, Hot Cross Buns, Eggs and Easter bread all play their part. But have you ever wondered where these traditions came from and why we eat them at Easter? Well, we did, and we wanted to share with you what we learned. So kick back with one of our Masala Chai Hot Cross Buns and your favourite beverage, and enjoy!
Let’s start with Fish. A staple on Good Friday, fish is the protein of choice as meat is generally abstained from. The reason for this is that because Jesus is believed to have died on a Friday. With Good Friday marking the day where the people offer Penance for his sacrifice, the Church felt that meat (associated with feasts and celebrations) didn’t feel right on this day of mourning. So they created a Church law regarding abstinence of eating land animals including birds. As fish were considered common day fare, they were not included.
Which is a great lead-in to talk about Lamb! Generally eaten on Easter Sunday, Lamb, symbolising Jesus as the sacrificial lamb of God, is eaten to celebrate his resurrection.
A symbol of life and fertility, the humble egg is supposed to represent the tomb of Jesus after the crucifixion. So not only are eggs eaten, they are painted, decorated and displayed. In some European countries such as Greece, eggs are hard-boiled and then, to symbolize the Blood of Christ, are dyed red.
Easter Bread, especially Europe, is a very popular Easter tradition. Said to represent the body of Christ and served at the Last Supper, it is commonly made then decorated with painted or dyed eggs.
Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, Hot Cross Buns symbolise the crucifixion of Jesus. Historically made from plain buns that do not contain dairy and eaten during Lent, it was later that fruit was added to form the bun bases we now know and love. Hot Cross Buns are surrounded with superstitions that date back centuries. For example its believed that if you bake hot cross buns on Good Friday, they won’t mould for the rest of the year. Some kept them for medicinal purposes and gave them to the sick to help them get better (now that’s a home remedy I can get behind!).
In Europe, soft Pretzels are commonly eaten during Lent. Made without ingredients usually avoided during Lent (such as egg, butter, milk, meat or cheese), pretzels are also used to visually represent the crossing of arms during prayer. Historically, pretzels were hidden on Easter morning, just like our current day Easter Egg Hunts.