There are a lot of Bulgarian traditions related with Christmas Eve.
The menu is vegetarian
Christmas Eve is a family holiday in Bulgaria.
The tradition is to have only vegetable dishes.
The number of the dishes must be 7 or 12 (we count even the salt and the pepper).
Everything must be humble but nowdays we need two days to prepare all the dishes.
Tradition Bulgarian Christmas Eve dishes are: dry bean, sauerkraut with ric, peppers filled with rice, stewed dry fruits – apples, pears, plums, strudel or similar dessert with pumpkin, home made bread with a coin insid, garlic, onions, fruits – apples, oranges, whole nuts – with the nutshell, salt, peppe, wine and other vegetable dishes. There is no meat and even the bread doesn’t have eggs or milk.
The Lord’s Prayer
The dinner starts with a prayer.
The candle, bought from the church and is put on one bread.
This is the Holiday when the family is together.
We stand up, turn on East and the oldest man says the Prayer.
We are happy that that we ar together!
The home sweets with incense.
You can buy incense in the church.
Who will have luck next year
The first three pieces are left on the table. They are for God, the cratf and for the home.
Everybody looks for the coin hidden in the bread.
The man who finds the coin will have luck the next year.
Other Bulgarian traditions for Christmas Eve
Some of the traditions are Gentiles and are related with superstition and are really funny.
We put few coins under the tablecloth for luck.
The tradition is to leave the table as it is and leave some food. Because when Santa Claus comes to have a dinner.
It’s time for presents
When the children are not in the room we put the presents under the Christmas tree. What a surprise and a joy when the children see them!
The next day is Christmas. This is a special day with ohter traditions.