As an Eclectic Pagan, I actively borrow traditions from all over the place, including integrating secular holidays into my spiritual practise. One thing I try to do is to incorporate some elements of New Zealand culture into my path, because my husband is from New Zealand and I think it is important to celebrate his Kiwi heritage in our household.
One way I do this is to make “Anzac Biscuits*” in the run up to Beltane.
April 25th is Anzac Day, Australia and New Zealand’s equivalent of Remembrance Day in the UK: a day for remembering all those who have died in conflict. One way to commemorate this is to make and eat Anzac biscuits, a really simple kind of biscuit using oats, golden syrup and, that ubiquitous New Zealand ingredient, coconut. In fact, the recipe resembles some of the oatcake recipes you see for Beltane. Seeing as Anzac Day is close to Beltane, it seems natural to me to make Anzac biscuits for us to enjoy, as well as to offer to the deities as an early Beltane treat. Sometimes I make them on Beltane itself as well. It’s a really tasty alternative to traditional oatcakes and it means that my husband and I can simultaneously celebrate my Pagan path and his Kiwi culture.
You can find a recipe for New Zealand Anzac biscuits here, or if you want to be really Kiwi, use the traditional recipe found in the Edmonds Cookery Book, which is something like the “bible of baking” in New Zealand – it’s over 100 years old and is traditionally given as a gift to engaged couples.
*For US readers – “Biscuit” means “cookie” in the UK, Australia and New Zealand!