Easter Food Around the World


Traditional Greek Easter Foods, including Tsoureki, Magiritsa, and red Easter eggs
photo by ΙΣΧΣΝΙΚΑ-888 via Wikimedia Commons

Does your food tell a story? Bruce Gulland and Liz Waid tell about the foods that people eat at Easter. Many of these foods represent part of an important story.

Watch Video


Transcript


Voice 1  

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Bruce Gulland.

Voice 2  

And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1  

This Sunday is Easter. Easter is a special time of celebration for followers of Jesus. They believe that Jesus was killed, but came back to life. This is what they celebrate on Easter Sunday. At Easter, followers of Jesus remember and celebrate these events. One way they do this is by eating many special foods. Today’s Spotlight is on Easter food around the world.

Voice 2  

Each Easter food has symbolism. The way the food is made or coloured or presented represents part of the Easter story. Join us as we look at some of the parts of the Easter story - and the food that helps tell that story.

Voice 1  

The Easter story begins in a dark way. Jesus knew people wanted to kill him. On the night before he died, he had an evening meal with his followers. This meal is called “the Last Supper”. Supper is another word for the evening meal. After this meal, Jesus was arrested. The next day, he died on the cross. On the Friday before Easter Sunday, Christians remember this event through Communion. They eat bread and drink wine to remember that Jesus died.

Voice 2  

At Easter, many people also make special breads. Followers of Jesus sometimes call him ‘The Bread of Life’. They say that Jesus told people ‘I am the Bread of Life.’ It is a way of saying that just like bread is part of a good life, so Jesus is also part of a good life. There are different kinds of Easter bread in places like Ethiopia, Russia, Bulgaria, and Georgia. Some are sweet. Some are sour. But all help people remember Jesus.

Voice 1  

In Mexico people enjoy eating Capirotada. Everything in this bread points to the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross. Capirotada is made with spices like cinnamon and cloves. Cinnamon looks like a stick of wood. Jesus died on a cross of wood. Cloves are small, sharp and pointed. They are a symbol of the nails that were forced into Jesus’ hands and feet to hold him to the cross. And the whole bread is a symbol of Jesus himself.

Voice 2  

In Italy, people make a bread called Colomba di Pasqua. This bread is filled with fruits and has sugar and almonds on top. It has the shape of a dove. The dove is a symbol of peace. It represents the special peace of knowing Jesus.

Voice 1  

Hot cross buns are a favourite Easter treat in the United Kingdom. These sweet fruity small breads are traditionally eaten on the Friday before Easter Sunday. Each bun has a large cross on its top as a symbol of the cross that Jesus died on. Spotlight’s Colin Lowther said,

Voice 3  

‘There is something about the smell of a hot cross bun that I cannot resist! The cinnamon and the fruits in it taste so good. And the shiny glaze always results in sticky fingers! But there is no point in having a cold cross bun - they must be hot! The cross on the top makes me remember what Jesus did for me at Easter time.’

Voice 2  

But it is not just bread that people eat at Easter. Another food Jesus probably ate as part of his last meal was lamb—young sheep. At that time, Jewish people often used lambs as a sacrifice to God. Followers of Jesus believe that he sacrificed himself on the cross. They sometimes call Jesus ‘the Lamb of God’.

Voice 1  

People in many countries eat Lamb at Easter. In France they enjoy eating roast lamb. People in Eritrea in East Africa eat a special meal of lamb called Zighiní. In Greece people prepare Magiritsa soup using the internal organs of a lamb. Traditionally people in Greece will also roast a whole lamb to eat on Easter Day. In Poland, people make and eat a very strange lamb. They make a lamb shape from rich yellow butter. This butter lamb is often the centrepiece of the Easter dinner table.

Voice 2  

The final kind of food that is often eaten at Easter is eggs. Followers of Jesus see eggs as a symbol of re-birth and new life. After Jesus died, he was buried inside a cave and a large stone was used to cover the cave. But three days after he died, some people went to prepare the body after death. When they arrived, the cave was empty! Jesus was alive again.

Voice 1  

Eggs help followers remember the empty cave where Jesus had been buried. So the symbol points towards Jesus coming back to life from the dead. It also helps followers think about their own new life with Jesus. In Greece, people use eggs in a special way at Easter. They make hard boiled eggs and colour them red. This red colour represents the blood of Jesus and is also the colour of life. The Greeks use the red eggs to decorate a traditional bread called tsoureki. In her blog The Cookie Crumbles, Meredith Prysak remembers tsoureki well,

Voice 4  

‘One of my most powerful memories from being a child is of the tsoureki my grandmother would bring to my house at Easter. She would get it from the church, and I was always tempted by the sweet bread with a blood-red egg in it.’

Voice 2  

Adults and children often play a game with the red eggs. Two people each hold an egg. They use their own egg to hit the other person’s egg. They try to break the other person’s egg. A family will often make lots of extra red eggs so the game can be played again and again.

Voice 1  

And no meal would be complete without something sweet! Easter sweets and candies are very popular. Perhaps the most popular are eggs made from chocolate. Often, children will have to hunt for these sweet treats. This can help people remember the way people looked for Jesus after he came back to life.

Voice 2  

At Easter, people around the world use these foods, and others, to remember the Easter Story. Do you eat any special food to celebrate Easter? What is your favourite celebration food? Do you eat any food that has a special meaning? Tell us about it. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net. You can also comment on Facebook at Facebook.com/spotlightradio.

Voice 1  

The writer of this programme was Katy Blake. The producer was Bruce Gulland. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States. All quotes were adapted for this programme and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this programme again, and read it on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This programme is called ‘Easter Food Around the World’.

Voice 2  

Look for our free listening app in the Google Play Store and in iTunes. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight programme. Goodbye.

Question:

Do any of the foods you eat represent something else? Do you talk about the meanings of the food?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
kenhieuloilam
said on March 29, 2018

God loves the world and gives his only begotten Son for the world. Jesus Christ, the Son of God accepts the death of suffering on the cross and rises from the dead to give the world salvation. We believe in God and we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We live our faith life. Jesus Christ, the Son of God loves us. He experiences suffering and aloneness. He experiences difficult conditions. He is crushed for us. We believe in God and we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We love God and we love Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We love one another in life. We live for God in favourable conditions and we live for God in difficult conditions.