Have you heard of a hot cross bun as protection against a house fire? What about one as a treatment for illness? Superstitious practices have been a mainstay in everyday life since as far back as the 8th century BC. But while we’ve all heard of a lucky rabbit’s foot, avoiding black cats… But let’s take a closer look at buns as a protective measure.
While we typically associate these sweet buns with other Easter treats like chocolate eggs and rabbits, we might be able to use them for a lot more. Take preserving friendships for example. If you believe in the old tradition, to share a hot cross bun with someone and repeat the words: “Half for you and half for me, between us two shall goodwill be” ensures unbroken friendship for the year to come.
A lesser-known tradition comes from English folklore and says that hot cross buns taken on a sea voyage will help protect a vessel from a shipwreck. An alternative superstition that’s more landlubber friendly links the hanging of the delicious treats in your kitchen to ensuring every loaf of bread you bake comes out perfectly. Some people even kiss their buns before they eat them as a sign of respect because of the cross!
Whatever you choose to do with them, and regardless of how many times you’ve played the song on your primary school recorder, you’re spoiled for exciting hot cross bun choices these days.
If you’re a budding bread baker or planning to go on a cruise any time soon, here’s a list of some places to find hot cross buns and help put your superstitious mind at ease. While they may not be one a penny, or two a penny, they’re guaranteed to be delicious!