The Food Blog

Monday, November 13, 2006

Christmas in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, Christmas Eve is equivalent to Christmas itself. On this day, traditionally a special festive dinners is prepare, which consists of at least 12 dishes to represent twelve months of the year. These dishes do not have any meat content. The ingredients consist of beans, different kinds of nuts, dried plums, cakes and a traditional cake called Banitza. This is the time when there is family gathering of all the family members. During the dinner, everybody eats on straw and it is necessary that all members get off the table at the same time. In the past, there were tradition of boys and unmarried young men visiting all the houses of the neighborhood.

They used to sing Christmas songs that wish good wealth and health for hosts and received treats in return such as money or food. They used to carry long sticks called 'Rkoledaris', on which round bread with holes known as 'kravai' were stuck. There were family gatherings and people used to eat seven or twelve course meatless meal, sitting on ground or straw. Christmas food included wine and dishes such as Rakia and Sarmy. The main dish was a huge round bread on which things that indicated wealth like house and cattle were carved. Bulgarians lit a bonfire at Christmas and make wishes around it and eat blood sausage.

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