Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The Easter Bunny, Hot Cross Buns and the Saxon Goddess Eostre

I love how festivals are so intertwined with feasts!!! Following on from yesterday's blog here's a little more background on Easter food traditions...

Eostre was the Anglo Saxon Goddess of Dawn and she was celebrated during spring time as a sign of rebirth and renewal. Her symbol was the Hare. This celebration period is now known as Easter and celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Instead of the hare the bunny rabbit is used as a symbol as rabbits are more common everywhere - especially in spring! The tradition of the Easter bunny is much more prevalent in America than England as it was taken over there by German settlers in the 18th Century. It is common in America for children to be told tales of an Easter bunny who will distribute baskets of Easter eggs and chocolate treats on Easter day. They even organise treasure hunts of brightly coloured eggs with lots of yummy treats for the winners!

Hot cross buns are also a tradition derived from Eostre. The Saxons used to bake these little round buns marked with a cross as the bun was supposed to represent the moon and the cross marked each of the moon's four quarters. In relation to Easter the cross represents the crucifix.

With all this talk of Easter goodies I think tomorrow I'll have to post a recipe for hot cross buns - with a slight Indian twist!!! =)

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