What do a roasted bone, a hard-boiled egg, and some horseradish root have in common? They all find themselves on top of a biscuit called Matzah during the Jewish Passover.
The bone and the egg remind worshipers of offerings brought to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem long ago. Families share some bitter horseradish root and other foods during Passover to remind people how hard they were forced to work and of the salty tears they cried when they were slaves in Egypt.
These traditions have persisted because they help pass along the story of a people. But there are similar stories among other cultures and religions. Ukrainian Catholics also bring salt, horseradish and eggs to church at Easter to be blessed. And children everywhere hunt for eggs on Easter morning. The roast lamb dinner that many Christians eat on Easter Sunday goes back a lot earlier than Easter. Families roasted and ate a sacrificial lamb during Passover in hopes that the angel of God would pass over their homes and bring no harm.
As some Hebrews converted to Christianity, they brought along their traditions with them. Christians often refer to Jesus as The Lamb of God. Traditions not only bring families together, they can also bridge gaps between cultures.
Read The Kids’ Catalog of Passover by Barbara Rush and Cherie Karo Schwartz for lots more on Jewish traditions and foods around Passover. To learn about Easter around the world, try An Easter Celebration or Easter.