"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - La Rochefoucauld

Friday, March 30, 2012

An early Easter celebration with the cousins!

Traditional Easter Foods

As I get older, I feel like I am going back to my roots. Growing up, religion was a big part of my life. As I went off to college, I slowly lost touch with my faith. I always believed in God but didn't have the same involvement I did as a child. Now that I am a parent, I feel a responsibility to give my children a religious foundation/education that reinforces our morals and values. I want them to be spiritual and have a relationship with God. As Eater approaches, I am trying to teach them about the true meaning of the holiday....right now they think it is all about candy and the Easter bunny! :) I found this great website that breaks down traditional Easter foods/symbols and their meaning. I love that food can bring such special meaning and memories to a family. One thing I may try to make for our Easter morning brunch is hot cross buns with a frosting cross. Read about the meanings of our favorite Easter traditions below:

Eggs are traditionally connected with
rebirth, rejuvenation and immortality. This is why they are often associated with Easter. On a more practical level? In the early Christian calendar eggs were forbidden during Lent. This made them bountiful and exciting forty days later. Easter eggs are sometimes decorated with bright colors to honor this celebration.

Why do we have Easter egg hunts?

"From very early days the finding of eggs has been identified with riches. The relationship is readily apparent. Eggs are a treasure, a bounty of nature, and when hens are unconfined they deposit these treasures in unexpected places. To find such a hidden nest before a hen has started to set and incubate the eggs is a perfect analogy to finding hidden treasure."

Why do we decorate eggs?
Historians tell us the people have been decorating eggs for thousands of years. The practice was inspired by religion. Techniques and styles vary according to culture and period.

WHERE DID THE EASTER BUNNY COME FROM? "Among the most familiar Easter symbols [is] the rabbit. The Easter bunny or rabbit is...most likely of pre-Christain origin. The rabbit was known as an extraordinarily fertile creature, and hence it symbolized the coming of spring. Although adopted in a number of Christian cultures, the Easter bunny has never received any specific Christian interpretation."

Historians tell us religions sometimes use food (taboos/traditional holiday meals) to forge identity and create community. Early Christians embraced ham, in part, to proclaim their religious beliefs.

Easter Breads
Bread has long played an important role in religious ceremonies and holidays. This is true in many cultures and cuisines. Holiday breads are often baked in symbolic shapes and include special ingredients. Easter breads often feature eggs, a commodity forbidden by the Catholic Church during lent.
English Hot Cross Buns, Italian Colomba & Russian Kulich are two prime examples of this culinary genre.

Bread symbolism

"Easter celebrates the resurrection of Christ but it also celebrates fertility, and the season of renewal...On Holy Thursday to commemorate the Last Supper, when Christ shared bread with his disciples, they prepare in absolute silence a brioche or egg bread called koulitch. On the Saturday night of Resurrection, they walk in procession to church with a basket of eggs, holding a candle in one hand, and the bread in the other. They exchange a kiss and ask each other's forgiveness for any offense they might have committed against one another, as a token of peace for the future.

From foodtimeline.org


Kara said...

I know what you mean......as I am getting older, I find it more and more important to make sure the kids learn about God and what these holidays represent.

Christina said...

I loved learning some new things!! Can't wait to talk to the girls about them :) Thanks Danielle ♥