Supermarkets are stocking up on the chocolate eggs and hot cross buns while restaurants everywhere, like Shook! and Lemon Garden Cafe are inviting the Easter Bunny to lunch. That can only mean one thing: Easter is coming.
Just like with Christmas' many special treats, these special foods eaten during Easter each holds a symbolic meaning. We discover some of them.
In Christian theology, lamb – the purest and gentlest of animals – symbolises the self sacrifice of Jesus Christ as ‘The Lamb of God’. There is also a logic to the choice: lamb was also the most readily available meat for slaughter during spring, which is when Easter comes around.
Across many cultures and traditions, eggs are symbolic of new life and rebirth. This makes them, whether hard-boiled and colourfully painted or made of chocolate and wrapped in fancy foil, a very apt food to be consumed on the day Jesus rose from the dead. It also represents the rebirth of mankind through Jesus’ self sacrifice.
Hot cross buns
This sweet delight typically eaten during Good Friday has history that dates all the way back to the ancient Greeks. They are particularly favoured during Easter for obvious reasons – the cross frosted on top symbolises Christianity and the cross on which Jesus died. It is said that sharing one with a friend on Good Friday strengthens your bond.
The rabbit’s renowned fertility (aka rebirth) has one part to do it and its rampant appearance during spring, another. But the rabbit in chocolate form is a commercialisation by chocolate and candy makers like Whitman’s Chocolate, who was the first to introduce it in 1842.
More food histories you might be interested in: Here are 8 things you might not have known about macarons.