Mona de Pascua, an Easter tradition.

Mona de Pascua / Credit: Albahaca y canela

The Mona de Pascua, a quintessential Spanish pastry, has evolved over time with subtle variations across the country, marking the end of Lent and its dietary restrictions.

Originating from regions like Murcia, Valencia, Catalonia, Aragon, and Castile-La Mancha, its name derives from the Arabic term munna or mouna, signifying a mouthwatering treat, gifted by the Moors to their nobles. This dessert holds a deep-rooted tradition throughout the Mediterranean.

Renowned particularly in Murcia, the Mona de Pascua is closely associated with Easter festivities, yet it graces confectionery shelves year-round in the capital. Alberique, in Valencia, boasts its fame as well, though its consumption extends beyond Easter into neighbouring towns. However, in regions like Valencia and Albacete, it remains a seasonal delicacy, enjoyed predominantly during Easter. The Balearic Islands and Catalonia also savor it during Easter and Epiphany.

A pastry to enjoy in nature

Traditionally, godparents would present the Mona to their godchildren on Easter Sunday post-mass. On Easter Monday, families or friends often gather outdoors to indulge in this pastry, playfully cracking its egg on one another’s foreheads. Typically served with chocolate, it’s customary to venture into the countryside for a Mona-filled afternoon, accompanied by kite-flying and a picnic where you can share food or enjoy paella and good wine.

Across towns, pastry shops engage in friendly rivalry, showcasing elaborate chocolate sculptures in their windows—be it architectural marvels, popular characters, or intricate chocolate and guirlache figures—adding to the festive spirit surrounding the Mona de Pascua.

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Written by

Marina Lorente

A Spanish woman who has returned to her motherland after 6 years living in London. She is passionate about nature, animals and yoga.