“Religion is to do right. It is to love, it is to serve, it is to think, it is to be humble.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today is Good Friday for the Western Churches (Eastern churches celebrate Easter a week later this year). Good Friday is the most solemn and sorrowful day in the Christian calendar. No work should be done on this day of prayer and reflection when one should mourn for Christ’s death on the cross. No iron tools should be handled and hammers and nails are to be avoided especially, lest you crucify Christ anew. If clothes are washed on this day, a member of the family will die. As the clothes hang out to dry they will be spotted with blood. This belief is from the apocryphal story that relates of a washerwoman mockingly throwing dirty washing water on Christ on his way to Calvary. Parsley seed can be planted on this day, provided a wooden spade is used.
It is a tradition that Hot Cross Buns should be baked on this day in memory of the kindly woman who gave Christ some bread on His way to Calvary. It is said that no bread or buns baked on this day will grow mouldy.
Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs
With one-a-penny, two-a-penny, Hot Cross Buns
Whose virtue if you’ll believe what’s said
They’ll not grow mouldy like ordinary bread.
Not all Hot Cross Buns baked on Good Friday should be consumed, but some kept as they protect sailors from shipwreck and houses from fire. Bread baked on Good Friday should be dried and kept for traditions says that if is soaked in milk and consumed, it will cure all sorts of stomach ailments. However, it should be noted that Russian tradition and religious observance forbid baking on Good Friday.