My friend Sue gave us some hot cross buns last night which means, as the legend goes, she’s stuck with us for another year.
According to an article in Smithsonian Magazine, people who share a hot cross bun are destined to enjoy “a strong friendship and bond” throughout the the following year.
An old rhyme that I had not heard before says, “Half for you and half for me, between us two, good luck shall be.”
I hope she knew what she was getting into when she handed that sweet package over. I’m planning to celebrate friendships pretty heartily in the next few months as the earth warms up and we all start to emerge from our pandemic cocoons.
Another hot cross bun legend suggests that we hang one in our kitchen on Good Friday and leave it there all year to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck and blessings to the house. After the year we’ve all had, we might want to give that a whirl.
The buns have been around almost as long as the cross they represent.
When archaeologists excavated the ancient city of Herculaneum in southwestern Italy, which had been buried under volcanic ash and lava since 79 C.E., they found two small loaves, each with a cross on it, among the ruins.
Other historical references mention a 12th century monk who scored a cross into his buns before he gave them to the poor.
Though they have yet to achieve the notoriety of their Polish cousins, the ubiquitous paczki, hot cross buns have come a long way since my childhood when they tasted a little like spicy cardboard.
In fact, I might have a hard time saving one to hang from my kitchen ceiling.
Whether yours involves a tasty talisman or not, I hope you all have a good Good Friday and a lovely, relaxing, celebratory weekend.