Easter Monday: finding alternatives to keep the 'mona' cakes tradition alive in lockdown

Godparents forced to order delivered specialities to godchildren as sales set to drop by half

A baker wearing a face mask during the coronavirus crisis stands behind an assortment of Easter 'mones de Pasqua' cakes (by Marina López)
A baker wearing a face mask during the coronavirus crisis stands behind an assortment of Easter 'mones de Pasqua' cakes (by Marina López) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

April 13, 2020 11:34 AM

The Guild of Bakers expected to sell some 700,000 Easter cakes, or ‘mones’, around Easter Monday – a similar figure seen in years gone by.

This Monday was expected to follow the same pattern of every Easter Monday in Catalonia in the past few centuries: godfathers queuing in bakeries to buy a 'mona de Pasqua' to then gift them to their godchildren.

The mona is a decorated sponge cake usually topped with chocolate and figures -often cartoon characters or football stars- that is traditionally eaten on Easter Monday.

The mona tradition usually means a busy week for bakers, with around 700,000 of the Easter cakes, which cost between 20 and 200 euros, being sold every year.

Yet, due to the current health crisis and lockdown, the story is completely different this year. 

Allowed to buy, not to gift 

Godfathers have been allowed to queue in bakeries, but they are not permitted to take them to their godchildren as usual. 

The Catalan home affairs minister, Miquel Buch, reminded in a press conference few days ago that those godfathers buying 'mones' have to find some arrangement with the bakery so that the cake is delivered to children, who are looking forward to seeing what figure tops the mona this year regardless of Covid-19 – an alternative to this could be that parents buy such sweet dessert on behalf of godfathers. 

Under the state of alarm in Spain, bakeries are allowed to open as an essential service, and home delivery of food is also permitted. 

So in the past few days queues have been seen anyway in shops – indeed, especially long queues as customers tend to respect the imposed security distance of 1.5 to 2 meters. Yet, this Easter Monday is nowhere close to that of last year, not only for families, but also for bakers. 

Postponing Easter and making own 'mones'

The Guild of Bakers predicts a drop in sales of around 50% across Catalonia. This has led them to propose celebrating Easter once again on June 1, Whit Monday, when godparents will hopefully be once again able to see their godchildren and give them the traditional cakes.

Some bakeries have opted for a more creative approach to offering the traditional cakes to customers, by posting tutorials online teaching people how to make the ‘mones.’