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A Hindu legend

Easter cake legend

 

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LEGEND OF THE PORTUGUESE EASTER CAKE

There was once a young girl named Mariana who dreamed of marrying young. She therefore prayed to Saint Catherine asking for a husband, but instead of one suitor, she had two. Both were young and beautiful, but one was a rich noble and the other a poor peasant. Mariana sought again Saint Catherine’s help so as to make the right choice.

While she was praying, the peasant came to her house, asking her for an answer until Palm Sunday. When he left, the noble appeared and made the same request. Mariana did not know what to do.

On Palm Sunday, Mariana was told that the two men were engaged in a deadly fight for her, and she ran to them while seeking once more Saint Catherine’s help. When Mariana arrived to the place where the two men were fighting, the first word she cried was the peasant’s name, and she understood that he was the one she should wed.

On the day before Easter Sunday, however, Mariana was told that the noble was to appear in her wedding to kill her groom. So she prayed to Saint Catherine once more.

The following day, Mariana found a sweet cake with boiled eggs surrounded by flowers on her table. The flowers were the same she had placed in the altar to honour Saint Catherine. She ran to the peasant’s house and he told her that he also had received the same present. Convinced that the cakes had been sent by the noble, Mariana and her groom went to his house to thank him. There, they learned that he had also received a similar cake.

Mariana had no doubt that all this had been the work of Saint Catherine to make them reconcile and seal a friendship vow, and from that day on, to offer a ”folar” (Portuguese Easter cake) became a symbol of friendship and reconciliation. And it is for this reason that godchildren offer their godmother some violets on Palm Sundays, and on Holy Saturday or on Easter Sunday the godmother gives them a “folar” in return.

I hope you enjoy my legends and look forward to your next virtual visit to my site.

I wish you a Holy Easter with lots of pralined Portuguese almonds and a delicious “folar” you may like to bake following my recipe.

© Dulce Rodrigues

 

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