Today at work we had a traditional Easter treat, hot cross buns.
It is a New Zealand tradition, originally English, to eat hot cross buns for breakfast or morning tea on Good Friday. Hot cross buns are a spicy, fruit bun marked with a cross in white icing on the top. The cross on top symbolizes the crucifixion. Baking the buns on Good Friday is said to bring amazing luck and the tradition goes that buns made on the holiest day never go mouldy and can be kept for up to a year. Some people would hang the buns in the kitchen for a year in belief they would keep the house from catching fire and they are also said to have healing properties when ground up and added to soup or drink for the ill. Most of us know the traditional rhyme:
"Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!"
The original verses were first recorded in 1773 as:
"Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs
With one or two a penny hot cross buns,
Whose virtue is, if you believe what's said,
They'll not grow mouldy like the common bread."
So enjoy a hot cross bun this Good Friday! There are a million recipes online or perhaps your local supermarket sells them. They are everywhere here in New Zealand!