Easter Traditions in Lebanon

It’s that time of year again and in London the shops are filled with chocolate eggs and schools are breaking up for their Easter holidays. Every country has its own traditions and ways of celebrating Easter, and Lebanon is no different. Easter is widely celebrated in Lebanon, families come together and take part in age-old traditions during lent and over the Easter weekend.

One of our favourite traditions is the making of Maamoul. Maamoul is a type of shortbread made from a mixture of semolina, sugar, butter, rose water and orange blossom. The shortbreads are filled with dates, walnuts or pistachios and dusted with icing sugar. The dough is often prepared on Good Friday and baked the next day, and it is traditional for each member of the family to take part in the Maamoul preparation.

Another wonderful tradition is the painting of hard boiled eggs. Eggs are boiled, painted and then on Easter Sunday are struck together and the person with the surviving egg is the winner. (We thought we’d give this one a miss at Maroush as it could cause A LOT of mess.)

On Easter Sunday large family gatherings are held to enjoy an Easter lunch. As you know, Lebanese culture has a strong connection with food and at Easter this is even more so. This lunch traditionally follows a long period of fasting and the most common dishes served are those of turkey, chicken or lamb. The afternoon is then often spent visiting as many people as possible in a short time. Each traditional household will have Maamoul laid out on a big plate and will offer other delicacies such as chickpeas covered with sugar and sugared almonds.

Happy Easter to all those celebrating.