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Hot Cross Buns: A Good Friday Tradition

I admit that I did not eat hot cross buns until I moved to London and then Hong Kong. There is an art to a good one.

Good Friday is almost at an end here in Hong Kong. However, we did share a hot cross bun today from the Mandarin Cake Shop in the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong (pictured above). Each bun has a cross on top to signify the crucifixion and today is the day they are typically eaten.

According to Bella Online:

“Although they have been a Lenten and Good Friday tradition for centuries, Hot Cross Buns were not always associated with Christianity. Their origins lie in pagan traditions of ancient cultures, with the cross representing the four quarters of the moon. During early missionary efforts, the Christian church adopted the buns and re-interpreted the icing cross. In 1361, a monk named Father Thomas Rockcliffe began a tradition of giving Hot Cross Buns to the poor of St Albans on Good Friday.

In years that followed, many customs, traditions, superstitions, and claims of healing and protection from evil and were associated with the buns. In the 16th century, Roman Catholicism was banned in England, but the popularity of Hot Cross buns continued. Queen Elizabeth I passed a law banning the consumption of Hot Cross Buns except during festivals such as Easter, Christmas and funerals.”

So here is your friendly reminder to enjoy hot cross buns today and think about their significance. I only hope yours are as good as the one La Jolla Girl and I ate today.

Photo Credit: The Mandarin Cake Shop

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