Everyone in the UK will be away from work this Friday, which is Good Friday. And everyone will be away from work, the following Monday, which is Easter Monday.When I say everyone, I don’t include the employed in certain services, like petrol stations, hotels, etc., etc.
These days are known as bank holidays. they are separate from the usual four or six weeks holidays, known as annual holidays. Next to Christmas, Easter is the most important Christian festival of the year.
Generally speaking, Easter in the UK is very similar to Easter in Germany. The word ‘Easter’ originates from a Saxon goddess. Easter eggs, whether made of chocolate, or the natural ones from chickens, are used, or played with, in much the same way.
There is one difference – hot cross buns. This is a slightly sweet, milky form of bread roll. Similar to a soft roll, sometimes part of a typical German breakfast. On the top of the bun there is a form of cross, made of white flour, or perhaps, marzipan. If there are any cooks reading this, who would like the recipe please contact inlingua Duesseldorf, who will be happy to help you. You may think that a bun with a cross on it, is part of typical Christian history. Not so! Early Saxons celebrated the goddess Eastre, and the four phases of the moon, by baking fruity buns, marked with a cross which showed four quarters. The tradition was then adopted by catholics who saw the cross as symbol of Christ’s crucifixion, and made the white cross from crushed communion bread. Protestant monarchs tried to ban the bun, until Elizabeth I decided to allow them at Easter and Christmas. They later became symbolic of only Easter.
When I was a child, hot cross buns were sold only on Good Friday. The baker would come in his van with a baker’s dozen , (thirteen) and we children would find it all very exciting. These days, the supermarkets sell hot cross buns, weeks before and after Easter. The buns are not hot, as they were in my childhood, and they taste different. So much different, that I wouldn’t buy any from a supermarket.
The UK has fewer bank holidays than most western countries. This year we have just seven. They don’t always follow the Christian calendar, although, in the past they did. Only Easter and Christmas do. The others are spaced out across the year.
Perhaps living permanently in the UK is not for you!
generally speaking : not specific
slightly : a little ; not much
flour: the powder form of grain (cereal), used in bread and cake baking
recipe: instructions for cooking
to crush: to break something down into smaller pieces by pressing (crushing)
van : closed vehicle for the transport of goods