Food

Why do we eat hot cross buns at Easter and what is the cross on a hot cross bun made of?

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Theyre a favourite for this time of year, and a marker that Easter and Spring are officially here: Hot cross buns.

With Lent over – and the fasting that comes with it – it makes sense that we would be enjoying rich treats like these and Easter eggs.

But hot cross buns have a lot more significance than just being delicious. We take a look.

Why do we eat hot cross buns at Easter?

Many people easy hot cross buns on Good Friday to mark the end of Lent.

Since dairy products are forbidden during Lent until Palm Sunday, people would eat plain buns during this time, then switch to the richer hot cross dairy-filled version afterwards.

The cross on the top signifies Jesus crucifixion on Good Friday, and some people believe that the spices within the buns are there to embody the spices use in his embalming afterwards.

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Although they seem to have Pagan roots (with the Saxons eating similar baked goods to honour goddess Eostre), they have become synonymous with Christianity over time.

There are plenty of old traditions and legends regarding the humble hot cross bun, with Queen Elizabeth I banning the sale of hot cross buns and other spiced breads except on Good Friday, Christmas and funerals, believing them to have medicinal and magical properties she feared may be abused.

What is the cross made of in hot cross buns?

Although the traditional way to make the buns calls for a cross to be cut into the top before baking, there is now a more noticable way to create the pattern.

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