Christmas Eve is a holiday important as much, as Christmas day! Here you are the recipe for traditional Bulgarian Christmas Eve. You need: • the whole family – the old grandparents and little babies in one house • a fireplace; • some straw; • a special ritual bread; • 7, 9 or 12 tasty lenten dishes and red wine; • whole walnuts and garlic.
Bulgaria's Christmas Eve is celebrated with a meal consisting of an odd number of dishes which follows the forty-day Advent fast. This vegetarian meal includes grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Walnuts, in particular, are found on the Bulgarian Christmas Eve table. These nuts are cracked in order to predict success or failure for the coming year. Another special aspect of the Bulgarian Christmas Eve meal is the round loaf of bread, into which a coin is baked. The person who finds the coin will be rewarded with good fortune. A typical Christmas table must be full of dishes
<ul><li>The food at Small Christmas is meatless. Also, it is important that the number of dishes on the table are seven or nine. There are different symbols connected with the number of dishes. Generally, seven is chosen because it is the perfect number of God, and nine symbolizes the months of pregnancy. In any case, the following dishes must be on the table: </li></ul><ul><li>Homemade bread Pita) – It is a bread made without eggs. In the Pita dough, a coin is put and sometimes cornel-tree stick. If your piece contains the coin you will be rich during the next year, if a cornel-tree – you will be healthy. </li></ul><ul><li>Bean soup, or any other beanlike vegetables like peas, lentils, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Honey – so that next year the life will be sweet. </li></ul><ul><li>Stuffed peppers or grape leaves with either beans or rise ( sarma ). </li></ul><ul><li>Nuts – by the quality of walnuts you can see how next year will be, nice or rotten. </li></ul><ul><li>Fruits – usually oranges, bananas, tangerines. </li></ul><ul><li>Boiled wheat with walnuts and sugar. </li></ul><ul><li>Tikvenik (Banitsa with pumpkin) – this is a dessert made with filo pastry, pumpkin, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon. There might be also another kind of banitsa on the table, that is with onions. In one of those banitsas, there might be small pieces of paper with wishes for the new year. </li></ul><ul><li>Oshav – this is a drink made by boiling dried plums and other dried fruits. </li></ul>