Saturday, 30 March 2013

Good Friday and Easter

Good Friday

Good Friday is a Christian tradition to mark the day of crucification of Jesus, whom they believe to be the Son of God as well as his Messiah or messenger. Jesus was arrested, tried and sentenced by Pontius Pilate, to be executed on a cross. Jesus was arrested following the famous Last Supper with the Twelve Apostles, then flogged, and mocked by Roman soldiers for being the King of Jews. Collectively known as the Passion of Christ, the suffering and death of Jesus by crucifixion represent the central theme of Christian theology, including the doctrines of salvation and atonement. Christians also believe his suffering was foretold in the Hebrew Bible, in Psalm 22, and songs of the suffering servant of Isaiah.

Why is it called Good Friday?

The term Good Friday may be derived from God Friday in the same way that the word goodbye is derived from God Be With Ye. The good about Good Friday is that the barrier of sin was broken by Jesus dying on the cross and coming back from the dead.

What happened on Good Friday?

n a Friday, also called Black Friday, Jesus was arrested and tried in a mock trial. He was then handed over to the Roman soldiers to be beaten and flogged with whips. A crown of long, sharp thorns was thrust upon his head. Then, he was forced to carry his own cross to a place on top of Skull Hill, on the outskirts of the city. There, he was nailed to the cross. A sign pinned above him read The King of the Jews. According to the Bible, Jesus was nailed to the cross at 9 AM. By 12 PM, as his suffering intensified, the skies darkened even though it was just noontime. At 3 PM, when Jesus died, the darkness left the sky. All these miracles added to the faith of his followers that Jesus was no ordinary mortal.

The main traditions of Good Friday

Some Christians go without food on Good Friday. This helps them remember the sacrifice Jesus made for them on the day of crucifixion. Others take part in a procession by carrying a cross through the streets. Many churches hold a special service, a prayer in the afternoon and a communion service in the evening. In some churches, statues are covered with a cloth to symbolise a time of mourning.

Good Friday was called also called Long Friday

The Anglo-Saxon name for Good Friday was Long Friday, due to the long fast lasting an entire day imposed upon this day.

Superstitions of Good Friday

Like every festival of faith, Good Friday too comes with its share of rituals and superstitions. Here are some: 1. A child born on Good Friday and baptised on Easter Sunday has the gift of healing. 2. Many fishermen do not set out for fishing on Good Friday, regarding it as inauspicious. 3. Bread or cakes baked on this day will not go mouldy. 4. Eggs laid on Good Friday will never go bad. 5. The planting of crops is not advised on Good Friday as an old belief warns against any iron entering the ground. 6. Having a haircut on Good Friday will prevent toothaches for the the rest of the year!

Why do we eat hot cross buns on Good Friday?

It is traditional to eat hot cross buns on Good Friday. The cross icing on top of the buns symbolises and reminds Christians of the cross that Jesus was killed upon.The buns were traditionally eaten at breakfast time, hot from the oven. A popular old song goes: Hot cross buns, Hot cross buns, One a penny, Two a penny, Hot cross buns.

Hot cross buns and luck

There are unique superstitions associated with hot cross buns. First of all, they are supposed to have magical powers, so people eat them and even wear them! Secondly, there is a belief that a hot cross bun baked on Good Friday remains fresh for an entire year. Thirdly, that hardened hot cross buns protect a house from fire! Sailors of yore took hot cross buns to sea to prevent shipwrecks.

What is Easter?

Two days after Good Friday comes Easter Sunday. The day has huge significance for followers of the Christian faith as it was on Easter Sunday that Jesus came back to life, proving that he was indeed the Son of God. it represents the victory of good over evil.

What does the name Easter mean?

Pagan traditions give us the English word Easter, which comes from the word Eostre. The Anglo-Saxon word for April was Eostre-monath, or the month of openings. However, it should be remembered that Christians celebrated the resurrection of Christ long before the word Easter was used, and the word they used for the celebration was Pascha, which is derived from and linked to the Jewish festival of Passover. No wonder, in many European languages, the name Easter comes from the word Passover, as in Pascha in Greek and Latin, Pasqua in Italian, Paques in French and Pascua in Spanish.

What are the traditions of Easter Sunday?

On Easter Sunday, Christians gather together for a sunrise service. Some Christians take part in an Easter vigil, lighting a new fire outside the church early Sunday morning. The Paschal candle, decorated with studs to celebrate Christ's wounds, may be lit from the fire and carried into the church where it is used to light the candles of the worshippers. The Easter Eucharist is a particularly joyful service. It is a popular time for baptisms and renewal of baptism vows.

How did the Easter bunny hop into the picture?

An Anglo-Saxon legend relates to the Easter bunny and eggs. It talks of how the Saxon goddess Eostre found a wounded bird and transformed it into a hare, so that it could survive the winter. The hare found it could lay eggs, so it decorated these each Spring and left them as an offering to the goddess.

Easter and eggs

Now that we know how Easter came to be connected with eggs, let us explore the ande ka funda. The first eggs given at Easter were eggs of birds. These eggs were painted in bright colours to give them the look of a gift. Even today, Easter eggs, normally made of chocolate, are painted or decorated. Around 80 million chocolate eggs are eaten around Easter in the UK..

Special food for Easter

After the lean months of winter and the fasting weeks of Lent, food at Easter comes as a special treat. Easter, like Christmas, is associated with a special menu. The Simnel cake is a rich fruitcake covered with a thick layer of almond paste or marzipan. A layer of marzipan is also traditionally baked into the middle of the cake, sprinkled with currants and flat Easter biscuits. Eleven balls of marzipan are placed around the top to represent the eleven true disciples of Jesus. Easter biscuits contain spices, currants and lemon rind. The traditional Easter pudding is custard tart. Boiled eggs are traditionally served at breakfast, after which Easter cards and gifts are exchanged.

How to bake Simnel cake

Here is the recipe to bake Simnel cake. Begin by toasting almonds to give them extra crunch and flavour. Spread them out on a baking sheet and pop them in the pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove the almonds and when cool, chop them roughly. Next unwrap the marzipan, cut the block into two halves, re-wrap one of them for use later and chop the remaining half into ½ inch (1 cm) cubes. Toss them in 1 tablespoon of the flour from the cake. Now for the cake. Take your largest mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and spice in, then simply place all the ingredients, except the marzipan, icing sugar, icing, redcurrant jelly and egg yolk, into the bowl. Then, take an electric hand whisk or a wooden spoon, and give everything a good mix. Finally, gently fold in the squares of marzipan and any remaining flour. Bake for 2¾-3¼ hours at the lower temperature of gas mark 2, 300°F (150°C). After the cake is done, you may decorate it with eleven balls of marzipan.

How to bake hot-cross buns

Sift the white bread flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.Stir in the spices (1tsp ground cinnamon, 1tsp ground mixed spice and 1/4tsp grated nutmeg), 50 g unrefined sugar, dried fruit, candied peel and yeast. Make a well in the centre. In another bowl, beat the milk and eggs together and pour into the flour. Mix well, then pour onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 mins until smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for about 45 mins to rise. Divide into 14 pieces and shape into buns. Place well apart on greased baking sheets, cover loosely with clingfilm and leave in a warm place until it doubles in size. Cut a cross in the top of each bun with a sharp knife. Mix flour to pour into the the crosses. Bake for 15-20 mins at 200ºC/400°F. Meanwhile, heat the ingredients for the glaze in a small pan and simmer for 2 minutes until syrupy.

The games of Easter

There are a lot of sporting traditions associated with Easter celebrations in England. Egg rolling is one such popular sport, where hard-boiled eggs are rolled down a hill. Some say the egg rolling represents the rolling of the stone from the tomb of Jesus. Another game that is played on Easter is the playing of a game with eggs known as jarping. It is a bit like playing conkers, with players tapping the eggs of their opponents until one breaks. The winner goes through to the next round, until there is only one egg left unbroken.

The Easter basket

The Easter bunny is known for delivering sweet treats to young children, so it is no surprise that Easter baskets often feature a chocolate bunny, besides the customary candies and sweets.

Easter celebrations in other countries

In Brazil, which has the famous Christ statue, there a tradition of beating up Judas, the apostle who betrayed Christ. People make straw men representing Judas, hang them on the streets, then destroy them. In Sweden, Easter resembles Halloween. Children dress up as witches with a broom and go around local houses asking for sweets. In the Philippines, Easter involves little girls dressed as angels.

No comments:

Post a Comment