Traditional Easter ‘Mones de Pasqua’ at home during home confinement
Bakeries expect sales of seasonal cakes to fall by half, but around 200 offer home delivery
Easter is approaching, and will be the first major holiday Catalonia will spend in home confinement due to the ongoing public health emergency.
As in many places the world over, Catalonia has many local traditions celebrated during this time. On Easter Monday, it’s customary for godparents to gift godchildren what is called a ‘Mona de Pasqua’ - a seasonal cake topped with a chocolate figurine.
These figurines often take the form of chocolate chickens, eggs, or even characters from popular children’s programmes or movies.
However, the coronavirus crisis has led to many bakeries shutting their doors completely, yet around 200 have remained open to make and deliver ‘Mones de Pasqua’ right to people’s doors.
Despite this, 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.
"Now we will have an Easter with family, between parents and children, and then [for Whit Monday] with the godparents, like always," says Olivier Fernández, one of the heads of the Bakers Guild, in an interview with Catalan News.
Even though bakeries are permitted to remain open during the state of alarm as one of the essential services, sales have already fallen between 20-25%.
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.’
Jordi Pons, a baker from Lleida, will upload a video tutorial to encourage families to make their own ‘mones’ at home with a "quality, healthy pastry".
Pons, who is also a teacher, proposes the use of locally-sourced ingredients, such as fruit jars in syrup. The aim of the initiative, he adds, is to "foster the profession" of baking.
In fact, in the Bakers Guild of Lleida, they believe that many people will opt for this choice rather than purchasing a professionally made treat, or else they will simply not have one this year.