HOT CROSS BUNS: THE ORIGIN:
Being as this is Good Friday Molly has attempted to search down the origin of 'Hot Cross Buns' (forgive Molly for her low gastronomic view of public holidays). What Molly has found is far from enlightening. Both "neo-pagan" sources and fundamentalist sources agree about the pagan origins of "hot cross buns" as an offering to Eostre/Eastre on the spring festival. Neither notes the diversion from the actual date of the spring Equinox. Both are heavily ideologically driven.The King James version of the Bible mistranslates "Easter" from the Greek word "Pascha" which Molly sees advertised on various churches across this town (hey the Prots catch up faster than us Dogans). Some sources claim that the "cross buns" predate the Christian era by 1,500 years. Molly's bullshit detector rings at a high pitch on this matter. The simple fact is that Molly has been unable to search down the origin of this simple custom, but she knows that both the fundamentalist and neo-pagan explanations are horseshit.
The actual origin of "hot cross buns" dates back no further than the 13th century when an English monk was said to have originated the custom. The first recorded instance of "hot cross buns is as late as 1733, and previous uses have to depend upon extrapolation. Speculation about their pagan origins has to depend upon over a millennium of "non-mention".
To learn more about "hot cross buns" go to the Wikipedia article on the subject and also 'A History of Hot Cross Buns'.
For herself Molly remains very much neutral and sceptical about the origins of this custom. The above references give both good recipes and songs. Enjoy in the darkness of how they came to be.