Easter – possibly the most significant holiday of the Christian calendar – has always been heavily associated with symbolic foods. From lamb to egg-heavy breads like today’s hot cross buns, some traditions have stuck, and others like chocolate and bunnies have bounced on the scene. We won’t explore the many respected religious traditions here, but let’s look at the meaning behind some of the lighter traditions, and how you can incorporate these into the upcoming Easter break for a bit of Easter fun.
One a penny two a penny, hot cross buns
While the practice of eating small special cakes to celebrate Easter seems to date back to the ancient Greeks, it wasn’t until the early 1600s that Good Friday buns emerged. These buns were studded with dried fruits, marked with a cross and eaten for breakfast on Good Friday. As their popularity soared, street vendors could be found selling warm buns, singing out the popular rhyme and the name ‘hot cross buns’ stuck. While hot cross buns seem to appear in stores almost year-round these days, no Easter holiday is complete without this lightly toasted treat smeared in butter and devoured warm. We’re absolutely spoilt for choice these days with chocolate, apple and cinnamon, mocha and even fruitless varieties appearing at the local Bakers Delight. If you want to take this tradition further, channel your inner Donna Hay and check out her no fail recipe here.
Egg-stra special eggs
Eggs are a must-have addition to your Easter weekend. We can paint them, die them, decorate them, or simply indulge in the chocolate kind. We can even break them, and no Orthodox Easter is complete without bright red, dyed eggs, and a game of egg cracking or “tsougrisma” meaning clinking together; as it’s known in Greece. Eggs are prepared the Thursday before Easter and the game traditionally begins after midnight on Easter Sunday. It involves one person cracking their egg upon the others, with the owner of the winning egg (the uncracked one) being said to have good luck for the rest of the year. Embrace the Easter egg tradition by painting or dying your own, or even making a chocolate variety that are sure to be a crowd pleaser. Check out this chocolate egg recipe from Jamie Oliver and get drooling!
Easter bunnies (and chocolate ones)
Bunnies have long been known as a symbol of fertility, and it’s likely their origins as part of Easter stem from ancient spring festivals in Europe. While the Easter bunny didn’t receive any specific Christian interpretations, it’s become a favourite custom (just like the Christmas tree) thanks to our European neighbours. Dating back to the 1600s, Oschter Haws (or Easter Hare) the delightful German bunny delivered coloured eggs to children that had been good. The Easter Hare, over time, became immortalised in chocolate for us to devour – starting at the ears of course!
Supersize your Sunday
Take your normal Sunday roast up a notch or two for an Easter Sunday feast. Traditionally, lamb is customary to be the star of the show, but you can get creative with sides, desserts, and drinks – like this Easter bunny cocktail! Tackling a leg of lamb can be daunting, but check out this recipe here for an easy to prepare roast that promises to be a gift from the gods. If you’re up for something more casual, it’s also a great time to fire up the barbie before winter sets in.
Fasting before feasting
Known as Lent, many Christians commit to fasting or forgoing luxuries for what is traditionally a 40-day period, ending the night before Easter Sunday. Lent is a recognition of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert, and traditionally ends with a feast on Easter Sunday. While we’re not suggesting you forego food for 40 days, short stints of fasting have been linked with health benefits. A healthy tradition worth considering!
From a complete free-for-all to a well thought out Easter egg hunt with clues, there are so many fun ways to incorporate this one into your Easter traditions. Check out our Egg-stra Special Easter Egg Hunt blog for plenty of backyard friendly options to suit your family, and make it an annual tradition. Remember, you don’t need to over-think it. Scatter your eggs close to home (or in it) and let the chase for chocky begin!
Set the scene
Finally, get the family involved with bringing some Easter spirit to the home with some DIY décor. Best of all, you can wheel these out every Easter (and add to them) so your Easter décor collection grows as the years go by. Check out these 10 Easter decorating ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
First National Real Estate would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Easter holiday!