People mapped their whole life according to the patterns of nature. Many ancient cultures, including the Greeks and Egyptians, saw eggs as a sign of fertility and new life; they used eggs in religious rituals and hung them in pagan temples for mystical purposes. Later, as Christian missionaries observed community members hunting for eggs in spring, they began using the food as a tool to describe Christ’s new birth in resurrection.
In early Jewish history, lambs were sacrificed as offerings to God and served regularly as part of the Passover feast. In antiquity Christians placed lamb meat under the altar, had it blessed, and then ate it on Easter. Jesus “the lamb of God” died during passover and the animal evolved into a dominant symbol for Christians. The ones who are not following Jewish Orthodox customs of not eating any pork, wouldn’t imagine Easter without ham. Symbolising “good luck” for many cultures around the world. There is also the fact, that farmers typically slaughtered pigs in the fall and then took several months to smoke the pork, making a ham ready just in time for Easter dinner. And again this custom dates back to pagan rituals honouring spring and the goddess Eostre.
The traditional sweet during easter is called Bozi milosti (God’s grace) in the Czech Republic, known also as Angel’s wings (I member them as chiacchiere, galani or crostoli in Italy). It’s very fragile crispy delicacy excellent right after frying or even on second day, but hardly anyone can resist this temptation and they’ll disappear quickly.
The origin of chiacchiere dates back to ancient Roman times. The Romans used to make sweets called “frictilia” – with eggs and flour, fried in lard – to celebrate the Saturnalia, the ancient feast of the god Saturn, the equivalent of today’s Carnival. Frictilia was a simple and cheap sweet made in big quantities to be distributed to crowds celebrating in the streets. It was considered the sweet of the poor because only a few ingredients were needed. To make it more appealing, people have invented a lot of variations over time and nowadays, every region has its own recipe. Generally, lard has been replaced by oil and sometimes the sweets are even cooked directly in the oven.
There exists a legend from Naples that tells us another version of the origin: Savoia Queen was going to spend an afternoon with friends at court and wanted serve something special. The chef Raffaele Esposito made for her sweets she decided to call “chiacchiere”, which means “chit chats or gossips”, as they were created to cheer that afternoon chat.
Celia Cruz: La Vida Es Un Carnaval
Azymuth: Depois Do Carnival (Spiritual South Remix)
Gorillaz: Carnival (feat. Anthony Hamilton)
N*E*R*D: God Bless Us All
Beirut: A Sunday Smile
Johnny Cash: Personal Jesus
Talk Talk: I Believe in You
Agnes Obel: Mary
Florence + The Machine: June
Stan Getz: Manhã de carnaval
Nostalgia 77: Temple
Community radio midnight show Through the Bohemian Looking Glass is aired every night at midnight (GMT). A new episode is aired every Friday midnight on Wirral Wave radio or AirTime. Later on SoundCloud for some time.
Suggestions, opinions and comments welcomed at veronika(at)wirralwave(dot)co(dot)uk.