Easter or Eastermonath

Easter

The Anglo-Saxons called it Eastermonath.

Easter Day can fall on any day from 22nd March to 25th April. This year Easter Sunday is 24th April, just about as late as it can get.

The name ‘Easter’ comes from the pagan Spring Goddess Eastre.

Rain on Good Friday or Easter Day;
A good crop of hops, but a bad one of hay.

At Easter let your clothes be new,
Or else be sure you will it rue.

Please, good mistress, an Easter egg –
or a fitch of bacon
Or a little trundle of cheese of your own making.

In 1875 John Cadbury launched the first commercial chocolate Easter egg.

Maundy Thursday

The day before Good Friday. On this day the reigning monarch used to wash the feet of a selected number of poor people. Last carried out by James II, the ceremony was replaced by the giving of specially minted coins (maundy money) to one man and one woman for each year of the sovereign’s age.

Good Friday

This year Good Friday is on 22nd April. It is a day for making, giving and eating Hot Cross Buns.

Hot Cros Buns! Hot Cross Buns!
One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross Buns!
Give them to your daughters, give them to your sons,
One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross Buns!

It was said that bread or buns baked on Good Friday would never go mouldy, and have curative properties.

Hang your bun on a string from the ceiling to preserve it. Then, when needed a piece can be broken off, soaked in water and used for a variety of complaints, including the stomach and indigestion!

Good Friday is a day for sowing Parsley seed and planting potatoes.

Easter Foods

Tansy Cake
This is a pudding made with the juice of the tansy –

On Easter Sunday let the pudding be seen
To which the Tansy lends her sober green.

Dock Pudding
Made with the leaves of the pink spiked Bistort.

Cherry beer, strong old ale with fermented Kentish cherry juice, accompanied with Pudding Pies, cheesecakes, baked with custard and currants.

‘Come taste the pudding pies’ was a cry that rang out and offered to coach passengers on the old Dover Road.

Pudding Pies, Simnel Cakes, Hot Cross Buns, custards, and other rich foods, to mark the end of Lent’s frugality.

The lad and lass on Mothering Day,
Hie home to their mother so dear;
‘Tis a kiss for she, and a kiss for they,
A chine of pork and a sprig of bay,
A song and a dance – but never a tear!

 

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