Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns.

This spiced, sweet bun spotted with fruit and marked with a cross is the traditional food of Good Friday in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and even further afield. Serve hot toasted with butter and, if you dare, honey or jam.

Hot Cross Buns

The cross represents the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The spices memorialise those used to embalm him on his death.

They were reputedly first created by Brother Rodcliffe, a 14th Century monk from St Albans, England and named Alban Buns. By the time of Elizabeth I, they were reserved by law exclusively for Good Friday, funerals and Christmas.

Hot Cross Buns 2

By the 18th Century, sellers would cry out to the passersby and a children’s nursery rhyme developed:

Hot cross buns. Hot cross buns.
One a penny, two a penny.
Hot cross buns.
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons.

One a penny, two a penny.
Hot cross buns.
If your sons don’t like them,
They’re the only ones.

One a penny, two a penny.
Hot cross buns.
Get them while they’re hot and eat them by the ton.
One a penny, two a penny.
Hot cross buns.

Lots of heritage and ancient symbolism in this enduring treat.

Partake of your culture on this Good Friday.

For more on our religious rites and customs, see Advent, Maundy Thursday, Muscular Christianity, Episcopalians and Celtic Cross.

8 thoughts on “Hot Cross Buns

    1. Whether you live in Brisbane, Baltimore or Birmingham, commercialism has watered down our cultural traditions. The trick, I suspect, is to practice our culture intentionally. In the case of Hot Cross Buns, reserve them for Good Friday, bake some yourself and send them to neighbours on Good Friday. If baking them yourself is not an option, perhaps only buy from Woolworths and Coles on Maundy Thursday. Their purchasing managers will get the hint. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

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