If you are a musician, have been a student of music, or had music classes in school, the above phrase may have left you humming or singing, “Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns…” or better yet you were doing the number system as you sang, “3,2,1….3,2,1” (the numbers used instead of the notes!)
But some of you, I bet, went right to the food option. Yep. Sticky gooey Hot Cross Buns! It’s Easter time folks! Bring on the food!
Believe it or not, Resurrection Season has begun. Mardi Gras is past (the night of feasting and frantic festivity), along with Ash Wednesday (the day to repent for what you did on Tuesday) and Lent is in full swing.
But back to the food. In case you didn’t know, Easter, as with any other holiday has foods associated with it. I appreciate that folks like to diet and look good, but lets face it, most holidays and celebrations just center around food. And I for one, love that!
At Easter you have Lamb (symbolic of the Lamb of God, Jesus, who was sacrificed for our sins), and then there are those yummy, historic, hot cross buns!
So, as usuall, I did my research to dig up the scoop on the buns.
Apparently, you can find a presence of them as early as about 40 years after Christ’s death! Who knew? When archaeolgists excavated the ancient city of Herculaneum (Southwest Italy) which had been buried under volcanic ask and lava since 79 A.D., they found two small loaves, each with a cross on it, among the ruins.
In England nowadays, hot cross buns are served at breakfast on Good Friday morning. They are small, usually spiced buns whose sugary surface is marked with a cross. The English believe that hanging a hot cross bun in the house on this day offers protection from bad luck in the coming year. According to superstition, crossed buns and loaves baked on Good Friday never went moldy.
For a long time bakers, by law, were only allowed to bake and sell the buns at burials, on Good Friday, or at Christmas. There was actually a decree issued in 1592 (during the reign of Elizabeth I) that shows that exact ruling.
It’s hard for those of us in Western cultures to believe, or imagine, that religion and faith used to be so much a part of people’s everyday lives. To think that there were laws actually created that dictated the protection of its remembrance may be a bit difficult for us to understand. To the extent of baked good sales no less! But alas, ’tis true.
With that, you might want to build in some Hot Cross Buns into your upcoming Easter festivities. If anything, to relive the tradition, and to spread the good news. That Christ be remembered, no matter how creative the method, is always a good thing.
Just my thoughts.