The Customs of Easter

Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday, one week before Easter, Christians celebrate what is known as Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey surrounded by his disciples and crowds of people who covered the road with articles of clothing and palm branches and waved palm branches while singing and praising God.

In some parts of the world Palm Sunday is known by other names. In parts of Wales Palm Sunday is called Flowering Sunday. On this day flowers are strewn on graves and churchyards. Also in parts of England, Palm Sunday is called Spanish Sunday. This name probably comes from a sweet drink made by children consisting of Spanish licorice shaken up in a bottle of water. Another name for Palm Sunday is Fig Sunday. Those who celebrate Fig Sunday eat figs or fig pudding in remembrance of Christ’s cursing of the fig tree, an event that occurred during Passion Week.

A traditional food eaten on Palm Sunday are Pax Cakes. Their origin is unknown, but the tradition appears to be older than 1570 A.D. Pax Cakes were given by clergymen to their congregation with the words “God and good neighborhood” to promote peace and reconciliation between neighbors.

Pax Cakes Recipe

Beat one egg.
Add and beat until smooth:
1 cup sour milk or buttermilk
2 tablespoons salad oil (salad oil is any vegetable oil)
½ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup wheat germ
¼ cup white flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon soda
½ salt

Grease a heated skillet or griddle. Pour batter from jug onto the hot griddle in 3 to 5 cm diameter dollops. Turn the pax cakes when bubbles show.

Heat on the second side until brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cinnamon may be added if desired. Makes 30-50 pax cakes.

Variation: Use 1 cup white flour, instead of combining whole wheat flour, wheat germ, and white flour.