KINGSTON, Jamaica – While American families hide colored eggs and eat chocolate bunnies, Jamaica’s tradition of eating Easter bun and cheese, fortune telling and Carnival are the ways this island celebrates this holiday period.
COMMON EASTER TRADITIONS
Easter egg predictions
One of Jamaica’s long established practices is the setting of an egg to predict one’s future. It is said if you place an egg white in a container of water on Holy Thursday night by Good Friday you will see your future. This is determined by the pattern which was formed by the coagulating egg white. If the shape formed in the container is a ship or aircraft, it means travel.
The custom of offering Easter eggs, either chocolate or hard-boiled and colored, dates back well beyond the early years of Christianity to the most ancient pagan traditions. In fact, many cultures have also put their own twist to the egg story.
In Jamaica, this is the time of year when people tend to eat bun and cheese in abundance. Though it is not clear how the cheese aspect of the tradition started, bun eating has been around for centuries. The popular Jamaican Easter bun, a tropical version of the English hot cross bun is generally eaten with processed cheddar cheese. Supermarket shelves are piled high with these sweet loaves, spiced with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, and bursting with raisins, currants and other dried fruit. For those interested in making their own bun, see recipe below.