5 Historical Traditions And Myths About Hot Cross Bun: A Tradtion On Good Friday

What Are Hot Cross Buns?

Hot cross buns are spiced, sweet buns made with fruits and marked with a cross on top.

It is traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and some parts of the United States.

The bun marks the end of Lent. The cross represents the crucifixion of Jesus, and the spices symbolise the spices used to embalm him at his burial.

1. Monk Was The First Person To Mark The Bun With A Cross

In 14th-century, a monk from St Albans, England, baked the buns on Good Friday and distributing them to the poor. It was then known as the 'Alban Bun'. 

However, the first define record of hot cross buns comes from London street cry: "Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs. With one or two a penny hot cross buns", which appeared in Poor Robin's Almanac for 1733.

5 Historial traditions and myths about hot cross bun

An 1884 advertisement announcing the sale of hot cross buns for Good Friday in a Hawaiian newspaper. Image source via Wikipedia

2. Hot Cross Bun Will Not Get Mouldy

A myth claims that if you hang the hot cross bun in your kitchen on Good Friday, it will remain fresh and mould-free the entire year. According to myth, it ties back to the body of Christ, which, according to the Bible, the body of Christ did not show any signs of decay after his crucifixion. The hot cross bun has to be replaced every year on Good Friday. It was also said that these hot cross buns have medicinal properties.

3. Hot Cross Buns Expel Bad Spirits

Another famous belief - due to the blessed cross on the top, hot cross buns that hung in the kitchen will expel evil spirits. There were beliefs that it prevents kitchen fire and ensures all bread baked that year will be perfectly delicious. According to the legend, taking these hot cross buns on your sea voyage will protect your boat from shipwreck. 

4. Sharing A Hot Cross Bun Will Strengthen Friendship

There is a line from old folklore, "Half for you and half for mem between us two, good luck shall be."

5. Too Sacred To Consumed Any Day

In 1592, Queen Elizabeth I decreed that hot cross bun cannot be sold on any day except for Good Friday, Christmas or burials. They are considered too special to be eaten any other day. People back then baked the buns in their own kitchen, but they had to donate all the buns to the poor if caught. 

There are loads of delicious ways to eat this legendary treat: you can slice them, toast them and butter them. Enjoy!

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