These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Monday, March 24, 2008

Why Lamb is the Traditional Dinner on Easter

This morning I noticed that someone who had visited my blog had googled

why, lamb, traditional, easter, dinner
and out of curiosity I googled the same. I didn't see my blog listed in the first four pages of sites, so apparently that person had searched a long time before finding my blog. But before I got there I found some information about why that is "traditional" as I wondered a few days ago in an earlier post. Here is what I found:

The roast lamb dinner that many eat on Easter Sunday goes back earlier than Easter to the first Passover of the Jewish people. The sacrificial lamb was roasted and eaten, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (see Passover Seder) in hopes that the angel of God would pass over their homes and bring no harm. As Hebrews converted to Christianity, they naturally brought along their traditions with them. The Christians often refer to Jesus as The Lamb of God. Thus, the traditions merged.

In the United States, ham is a traditional Easter food. In the early days, meat was slaughtered in the fall. There was no refrigeration, and the fresh pork that wasn't consumed during the winter months before Lent was cured for spring. The curing process took a long time, and the first hams were ready around the time Easter rolled around. Thus, ham was a natural choice for the celebratory Easter dinner.

Interesting. And I was on the right track when I wondered about the lamb being symbolic of the "Lamb of God" thing.

Following is another little snippet of the history:

The History of Lamb on Easter

Why is Lamb popular during Easter?

Throughout the world the most popular Easter symbol is the lamb.
The reference to lamb in Christianity goes back to the book of Genesis, When Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son.

In past centuries it was considered a lucky omen to meet a lamb, especially at Easter time. It was a popular superstition that the devil, who could take the form of all other animals, was never allowed to appear in the shape of a lamb because of its religious symbolism.

In the 7 th century the Benedictine monks wrote a prayer for the blessing of lambs.

A few hundred years later the pope adopted it and a WHOLE roasted lamb became the feature of the Pope's Easter Dinner, and has been ever since.

It wasn't too many years before people decided that it was ok to roast parts of lamb instead of the whole bleeting thing. In the spirit of the old days here is a version of leg of lamb that can be done on the BBQ.

Little figures of a lamb made of butter, pastry, or sugar have been substituted for the meat, forming Easter table centerpieces.

In Greece Easter is the biggest holiday, and apparently most everyone roasts a whole lamb on a “Souvla” which is a large spit. I understand that a motorized one is not popular so if you are interested in doing a traditional Greek roasted lamb, they say it is good to have plenty of friends to help turn the spit.

That's it. I just thought I'd share with you what I found. Have a good day!


  1. The lamb story makes sense -- interesting to know.

    As for ham, which is what I usually serve, that also makes sense but in a way I wouldn't have thought!!

    Hope your Easter was delightful -- sounded like you had a good meal with your friends and you can never pass up one of those!! Especially when it comes complete with one of those delish coffees!!

  2. My mother always served turkey on Easter! I bet that's not traditional at all. I'm still shocked to this day that nobody else in this world seems to eat turket for Easter. I was served ham yesterday at a friend's house, and thanks to your post, I know why!


  3. Sherry, it does make sense, doesn't it? You know, almost any meal with friends is a good meal. :)

    Betty, My mom served either ham or turkey, and occasionally fried chicken, as I recall. I got really tired of turkey because it was served at Thanksgiving, at Christmas, and Easter, too. To this day, I'm not crazy about turkey, other than left-overs in a sandwich, oh, yum!!!

  4. Very interesting! I didn't know these interesting little facts about lamb and ham.

  5. I got a cute wooly stuffed lamb once in my easter basket.
    As for eating lamb - nope. Not doing it!

  6. I didn't either, Daisy. It made sense when I read it, but it was news to me!

    Patti, I know I eat some in Greek food, but I don't let myself think about it. I know ... I'm a cheat. :(


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