Easter is all about joy and fun and happy times
Easter is about the joy of spring, that warm sunshine that creeps through your window, gently touching your skin in the morning. The fun of egg hunting, or cracking all the eggs to see who has picked the egg with the strongest shell. The happy times spent with your friends, your family and your loved ones.
I was raised as an Orthodox, so I was used to celebrate Easter after the Julian calendar. In Romania we would dye Easter eggs, bake ‘cozonaci’ (similar to the more popular babka) and ‘pasca’ (a baked cheescake with lemon and raisins, on a brioche base) and eat lamb. But above everything, for me back in Romania, Easter was always a time for family reunions. It was all about catching up with the family, our cousins, uncles and aunts. Playing around, cracking *all* the eggs, eating too much ‘cozonac’ – and none of the lamb.
Ever since I moved to London, I tried my best to maintain the Easter traditions. But keeping up with traditions when you’re away from your family is not always easy. Because it’s not necessarily about baking that perfect ‘cozonac’, or dying that stunning Easter egg. It is more about the people who you’re sharing it with.
So I pretty much gave up dying Easter eggs in the past years. I would still bake the ‘cozonac’ though. But not necessarily for myself, as mainly to give it as edible gifts to my Romanian friends living in London. Because – again – for me Easter is all about sharing. A couple of years ago I even baked an Italian ‘colomba’ (the Easter version of panettone), for some Italian friends here in London. This year I’ve baked hot cross buns for the first time, as I was looking to explore British Easter baking traditions.
And then it hit me. Instead of feeling estranged when I can’t be with my family for Easter, I feel privileged for having the opportunity to share Easter traditions with people from other cultures. So this year, I’ll be celebrating Easter twice. I’m having chocolate eggs, hot cross buns and roast lamb for the Catholic Easter with my British, Italian and French friends. And I’ll be sharing ‘cozonac’ next week, with my fellow Romanian friends. How cool is that?
Happy Easter everyone, wherever you are!