Cake, Heritage and Mother’s Day

This April 24th saw the yearly Heritage Day in Flanders, Belgium with the 2016 overall theme ‘Rituals’. Pretty ideal to connect this with the Cake exhibition! Cake goes along with a lot of rituals: think of blowing birthday candles, newlyweds cutting wedding cake together, and many others.

The Europeana Food and Drink touring exhibition Cake? Cake! , organized by the project partners Centre for Agrarian History and Royal Museums of Art and History is residing in Leuven, Belgium in Woonzorgcentrum Edouard Remy, a home for elderly people since April 22th.

The director of the Woonzorgcentrum was more than willing to co-operate and host a Heritage Day for his residents and all visitors.

“We wanted to work intergenerational, so we aimed at getting as many families with children to the home. A children’s play about cake  was organized and we developed an educational package to go with the cake exhibition. And we hired a photobooth. Big and small could dress up and pretend to eat a piece of cake. Everybody loved it. Wheelchairs aside, and getting up for five minutes to have that picture taken with son or daughter, grandchild or even greatgrandchild. And in the background: the campaign image of the Cake exhibition, the little baker”, Greet Draye from Centre for Agrarian History describes the atmosphere of the day.

Heritage Day Leuven, 24th April 2016

Afterwards there was time for a real piece of cake. Speaking of which:  Mother’s Day is approaching. No better occasion to treat your mum with cake than that!

Cake for Mother’s Day

In Belgium the tradition of eating cake at Mother’s Day occurred for the first time in the fifties. And since mum was the one who used to bake cakes those days, a mother’s day cake was always to be bought at the baker’s. Mother’s day was – and still is – the high day for mothers and bakers.

Mother's Day Cakes, Bakkerijmuseum Veurne
Mother’s Day Cakes from Bakkerij Baelde, around 1950-1960, Bakkerijmuseum Veurne

By Greet Draye, Centre for Agrarian History and Angelika Leitner, Austrian National Library