The eating of hot cross buns marks the end of Lent because they are made with dairy products which are forbidden during this period. Different parts of the hot cross bun have a certain meaning. The cross represents the crucifixion of Jesus, and the spices inside signify the spices used to embalm him at his burial.
The first recorded reference of the bun dates back to the early 1700s. The Poor Robin’s Almanac said: "Good Friday come this month, the old woman runs. With one or two penny hot cross buns." One theory suggests that the hot cross buns originated in the 14th century in the city St Albans in Hertfordshire where a certain monk from, Brother Thomas Rocliffe, developed a recipe for Alban Buns which he distributed to the poor on Good Friday.
The giving of eggs – representing new life - as gifts around the Spring equinox long predates Christianity, though Christian tradition has adopted the practice with an empty egg coming to represent Jesus' empty tomb after the resurrection.
The Christian tradition of giving Easter eggs began in Mesopotamia - modern-day Iraq and Syria – where egg decoration had already been a custom for a few thousand years. Eggs would be stained red by early Christians to symbolize the blood shed by Jesus at his crucifixion.
The first chocolate eggs appeared in France and Germany in the 19th Century and The tallest chocolate Easter egg ever was made in Italy in 2011. At 10.39 meters and 7,200 kg in, it was taller than a giraffe and heavier than an elephant!
The adjective“Pascal(e)” comes from “Pâques”(Easter in French).For Christians, Easter symbolizes Jesus’ passage from death to life, his sacrifice. Thus, Jesus is identified with the sacrificial lamb of the Jewish tradition. Jesus is also represented by a lamb in the Apocalypse. The lamb also symbolizes new life, as it happens in Spring time so that is why the French will usually eat a lamb in family for Easter.
Gubana hails from northern Venice, and is a dense, sweet brioche bread that is filled with chocolate, raisins and alcohol.
This is a traditional Easter beverage made from eggs, sugar, and brandy, similar to eggnog. The Dutch drink it as an apertif on Easter, and also use it as a topping for waffles.
Similar to a quiche, this savoury pie features a puff pastry crust surrounding a filling of spinach and cheese, It is traditionally served during Lent.
This meat pie is stuffed with spicy chorizo and hard-boiled eggs. It is eaten during lent throughout Spain, but particularly in Salamanca.
The Mona de Pascua is a traditional Easter cake native to several regions in Spain, including Catalonia and Valencia, which will typically have an egg (symbolizing fertility, birth and resurrection) baked into its centre.
Though it might look like Oreos in milk, Mämmi is actually a traditional Finnish easter dessert made from molasses, salt, and powdered orange zest.
This is actually a candy, made from ground peanuts, cassava flour, sugar, and salt.
This stringy Greek Easter bread is unique because it contains two traditional Greek spices, mastic and mahlab.
This Mexican bread pudding is made with nuts, fruits, figs, and mixed with aged cheese. It is served throughout Lent, particularly on Good Friday.
This special Easter bread is eaten in Cyprus. The bread is filled with cheese and raisins, prepared on Good Friday and then eaten on Easter sunday.
These Lebanese treats are small shortbreads filled with pistachios, walnuts, and dates.
The name literally translates to "ham in bread," and that's exactly what you'll find should you cut open this traditional German Easter dish.
Many Russians have their kulich blessed by a priest. The bread is cooked in a tall pan and then served with cheese Pashka, the pyramid seen in the photo. Pashka is often decorated with the letters XB from “Christos Voskres” which means Christ is risen.
The classic American dish can be sweet, glazed, or even spicy.
In Denmark, you drink this special Easter beer which is slightly stronger than regular beer. Cheers!
Now you can surprise your friends and family by cooking one of these original dishes this weekend, telling them about the buns' origin, a Påskeøl in the hand!
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