Easter, with its ancient religious and pagan history, beckons food ideas from around the world for all ages. You may celebrate Easter Sunday with a traditional dinner of roasted leg of lamb or opt for something more modern. Easter celebrations are made sweeter with treats, and freshly-baked hot cross buns will add a touch of tradition to any Lenten fast. You can even serve an international dinner of Czech Easter delights.
Lamb is the most significant religious Easter symbol. All branches of Christianity recognize the little lamb for its depth of meaning. Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God, sacrificed to save humanity. According to the website kitchenproject.com, popes have dined on roasted lamb--the whole lamb--for centuries. Now, people beyond the walls of Vatican City serve roast leg of lamb on Easter Sunday. Greeks still roast an entire lamb for Easter.
Hot Cross Buns
Hot cross buns, with their uncertain, but legendary origins, satisfy during Lenten fasting taste buds throughout Lent and on Good Friday. According to the website, DLTK's Holiday Activities for Kids, hot cross buns may date back to the 12th century, A.D. Commemorating the Day of the Cross, Good Friday, an Anglican monk may have adorned a bun with a cross of icing. Good Friday is a somber day in which Christians recall Jesus' crucifixion. Legend has it that the faithful could only consume hot cross buns on Good Friday. Predating Christianity, pagans may have incorporated hot cross buns into pagan rites and festivals. With the arrival of Christianity, priests may have added icing crosses to carry the Christian message.
International Easter Foods
The website, Food by Country, describes a Czech Easter food ritual and traditional Czech Easter foods. Before Catholic Easter diners eat their dinner, they take the food to Easter Mass, placing the food on the altar for the priest to bless. In addition to ham or lamb, Czechs often serve an herb and egg Easter soup, sweet bread with nuts and raisins. The website, My Czech Republic, offers glimpse into another traditional Czech Easter food. Holy Thursday, also called Green Thursday in the Czech Republic, was a day of fasting. Catholics did not eat animal products of any kind and only consumed one meal of vegetables on Green Thursday. Modern Czechs and others in Europe and the United States still include green vegetables on the Holy Thursday menu. Moravians and Czechs eat green herbs soup and green salad on Green Thursday.