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Easter and Meatless Tamales

 

Easter is a Christian holiday that commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and celebrates His resurrection. This year Easter is Sunday March 31. It is a holiday that is celebrated in many countries of the world with varying traditions.

 
Easter Around The World:


In the United States, Americans enjoy the Easter bunny, Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets filled with toys, chocolate bunnies and all kinds of assorted candy.
Australia is heavy on the chocolate Bilby tradition. Bilbies are native to Australia. Unlike America, in Australia rabbits or bunnies are considered pests. Also in Australia and in different countries of Europe the tradition of Hot Cross Buns at Easter time  is quite popular. 
Bermuda has a lovely tradition of flying kites, which represents the ascension of Christ into heaven. 
In Asia some countries like India, which has a small Christian population, will celebrate spring. The tradition of decorated eggs is practiced not by dyeing eggs but by purchasing elaborately decorated eggs to give as gifts. While in the Philippines, Easter is a major holiday commemorating the Resurrection. Processions of people meet in church, where girls dressed as angels greet them.
Throughout Latin American countries, Semana Santa or Holy Week is solemnly observed. A week highlighting the different events leading  to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. 
In Africa, Ethiopians observe Fasika with 55 days of fasting from meat and a vigil commemorating the events prior to the crucifixion. 


Tamales and Lent Season


 Also in the different countries, certain Christian sects commemorate the season of Easter with the solemn tradition of Lent. A 40 day period of fasting from meat. It is intended to be a time of prayer, reflection, repentance and appreciation for God. Kids usually find this part of Easter hard because having to wait and sit still for a child feels like an eternity. It is the most prominent memory of my Easter seasons as a child, Lent meant no meat on Fridays, except for fish! It was quite a sacrifice for me. Seeing all the different meat sandwiches my classmates brought to school and of course hamburgers were always on the lunch menu at school. Every Friday during this season was a torture. At home, my mother served a variety of different fish dishes, it was difficult to appreciate her creativity. Other savory meat dishes were not an option. Tamales were only considered for the special holiday. It would have been nice to have some yummy meatless options like delicious cheese tamales during Lent season, or maybe some tasty bean and cheese tamales. If you observe the Lent season, consider stocking up on delicious meatless tamales with no hard work or consuming hours  involved, just savory satisfaction. Back in the 80s  technology wasn’t what it is today, making tamales was a very long process and hard work, handling a variety of aromatic foods and spices while fasting is quite a temptation.

Celebrate Easter With Savory and Sweet Tamales

I must admit that tamales and holidays go hand in hand. Easter is coming up in just a few short weeks. Now that technology has improved, whipping up a good amount of tamales in a “shorter” time is possible and maybe half the work. If your senses yearn for good ole fashion culture, then go ahead and enjoy the ancient tradition of making tamales. 
Authentic meat filled tamales to break lent fasting is a wonderful feast. Tamales with a variety of toppings, frijoles, arroz, pico de gallo, guacamole and salsa, doesn’t that sound delicioso! Then catch your breath and make room for dessert. Sweet tamales with a side of vanilla ice cream make a yummy fuse of sweet flavors. 
As families and friends gather on Easter Sunday to celebrate and feast on many traditional and cultural delicious foods, it is another great opportunity to appreciate life and all its benefits.

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