Interesting facts about Christmas Eve
1. By tradition, on Christmas Eve, all family members should gather in the house. Moreover, you could not be late to the festive dinner lest "you shall be wandering all year."
2. Hay. Our ancestors believed that on Christmas Eve dry grass gains magical powers. They would put hay, nuts and sweets on the floor.
3. Charms. In addition to hay, they would put other charms under the tablecloth: garlic - "to keep the devil away from the house", grain - "for a good harvest," and money - "to keep prosperity in the house." According to ancient custom, they would put an extra plate with a spoon on the table, because on Christmas Eve, souls of dead relatives would come for a dinner in the house. On this evening, they would not go out, but if a traveler asked to let him or her in the house, he or she would be gladly received.
4. Kutia. Kutia had a special importance, because grain in the ritual dish symbolizes resurrection, poppy seeds - abundance, nuts and raisins - longevity and prosperity.
5. When would they start dinner? They would start dinner once the first star appeared in the sky, and up to that point Orthodox would eat nothing.
6. What would they talk about at the table? During the dinner, it was not allowed to talk loudly and to quarrel because otherwise "there will be dissension in the family for a whole year."
7. What would they eat on Christmas Eve? In addition to kutia, 11 more meatless dishes would be served on Christmas Eve. Meat and dairy products were not on the menu, because it was still the fast. They would bake pies - with cabbage, mushrooms, beans, poppy seeds. Also they would make dumplings with cherries, apples, plums, pears. A clay jug with uzvar - dried fruit compote - must have been on the table. They would cook fish dishes: jelly, soup, stew. They would make salads with beets, radish, cabbage and mushrooms.