National Hot Cross Buns Day occurs on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter.
A hot cross bun is a spicy sweet bun made with currants. It is marked with a cross on the top by cuts in the dough or stripes of dough on top. They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday. During the Tudor times in England, a London bylaw was introduced forbidding the sale of Hot Cross Buns except on Good Friday, at Christmas, and at burials.
Small cake-like buns have been served at spring festivals since ancient times, dating back to the Ancient Greeks. Even the distinctive cross markings. Archaeologists found two small loaves with crosses on them when they excavated the ancient city of Herculaneum in southwestern Italy, which had been buried under volcanic ash and lava since 79 C.E. Egyptians offered the moon goddess small cakes marked with lines to represent ox horns. Saxons ate buns marked with a cross to honor of the goddess of light, Eostre. The first time the cross is referred to as the remembrance of Christ’s cross was in Poor Robin’s Almanack, 1733.
- Bread baked on Good Friday will hardened in the oven and keep all year to protect the house from fire.
- Bread baked on Good Friday will not go moldy.
- Hanging a hot cross bun in the house on Good Friday offers protection from bad luck in the coming year.
- Sharing a hot cross bun with someone will ensure friendship. Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be.