20 March 2008

To all My Friends

And some facts that you might be interested.

Why do we eat chocolate at Easter?
In the ecclesiastical calendar, Easter comes at the end of Lenten fast (supposedly in memory of the time Jesus spends in seclusion before his entry into Jerusalem at the beginning of the Easter story. Therefore, Lent was traditionally (and for the orthodox and Catholic churches still) a period in which a devout follower "gives up" especially rich or animal foods for Lent such as eggs, milk, cheeses and certainly chocolate had it existed in medieval Europe. Mardi Gras (or fat Tuesday) was the last day of partying and feasting before Ash Wednesday the beginning of lent. Consequently on Easter all the rich foods that had been given up for Lent, were used to make special dishes and gifts. Orthodox Christians still follow this tradition giving up eggs and cream for lent, and on Easter making presents of rich Easter cakes. Chocolate as a luxury item, became associated with the gift-giving of the season. The reason for the eggs and rabbits was well -explained in the previous answer. Around this time of year, many chocolate companies run short blurbs on the actual history of chocolate eggs (in terms of marketing).

Why do we eat hot cross buns on Easter?
These cakes were marked by the Saxons to honor Eastre, the fertility goddess. The crosses on the buns are said to represent the moon's quarters, while Christians see the cross as a reference to the Crucifixion.