|why, lamb, traditional, easter, dinner|
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!