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Saturday, March 22, 2008
Behold, my bun!
I was born on both a Good Friday and a Friday the 13th. As a kid, my mother always told me that the former somehow counteracted the later. I was raised by two half-hearted Methodists who weren't big on regular church attendance. It wasn't until years later that I learned that Good Friday was the day that Jesus Christ was, well, brutally nailed to a cross until he bled to death.
So, as I'm sure many have wondered before me, why do Christians call a day like this "good"? I've since assumed it's because it gave them something to rally around. The crucifixion is the cornerstone of their religion. No Jesus on a cross = no reason to get together on Sundays or dye hard-boiled eggs once a year. But according to the internet, the "good" may be a slight variation on "God" or that "good" may have once also meant "holy." At least two other cultures have a better way of putting it. In Arabic, the day is referred to as "Sad Friday." In Germany it's "Lamentation Friday."
People in Hong Kong and Canada typically get the day off but Good Friday always seems to pass with little recognition in the US, with the exception of the stock market shutting down for a long weekend. How do American Christians typically commemorate the day? Wikipedia claims it's with a trip to church and, strangely enough, with hot crossed buns. So that's what the song I was forced to learn on a recorder in third grade was all about. Silly me, I thought it was all about quality baked goods sold at a low, low price.
So yesterday I found myself celebrating Good Friday for the first time. Instead of going to church, I wound up at Helen Bernard's Bakery in NE Portland (I had a birthday cake to pick up). They just so happened to have hot crossed buns for sale and I just so happened to buy one. Here's a cell phone photo of my bun:
It was pretty tasty, despite the raisins.