Orthodox Christmas Eve dinner

Orthodox Christmas Eve dinner

I was born in an Orthodox family, and I can say that the most valuable Holiday is Christmas, coming even before Easter. The most wonderful and tastiest dinner is the Orthodox Christmas Eve dinner. We, in Macedonia call it “Badnik” (Бадник, Бадникова вечер), and is a great moment to gather with the closest family and enjoy the holly supper.

Orthodox Christmas Eve dinner

Orthodox Christmas is on the 7th of January (This is according to the Julian calendar, which comes before the Gregorian calendar), so our Badnik is on the 6th of January. On the evening on that day, everyone is known to be home. We have a wonderful tradition to break a home baked bread with a coin inside, we call it Pogacha (Погача). Everyone who is on the table gets a piece of the bread and who gets the coin is considered to be the luckiest that year, protected by God.

There are different types of food we prepare, and we avoid meat and anything else from animal (except fish, because it is ok to eat fish, they don’t have any feelings)for that dinner. This Orthodox Christmas Eve I spend it in my home together with my boyfriend and some friends. I cooked all afternoon, since I was night shift before. I was afraid if I am going to manage, but luckily I did. I made Christmas cookies, Sarma, Beans, Zelnik, Pogacha,boiled some chestnuts, baked a pumpkin and my boyfriend prepared the fish. Everything was delicious. I do need to improve my cooking when it comes to Pogacha and Zelnik, but I am very satisfied how everything come up.

Here is the food I served on the table:

Orthodox Christmas Eve dinner
Baked stuffed fish with vegetables, lemons, parsley and vine.
Zelnik. Made with flour, rice, leeks, and garlic. Truly delirious and traditional recipe from Macedonia.
Sarma. A Turkish recipe, that has become our traditional food. It is no wonder Macedonia was 500 years under the Ottoman Empire. This is made of sour cabbage leafs, rice, garlic and leeks.
Boiled beans with red peppers spice.
Christmas cookies (Коледарски Колачиња). We make them for the morning on the 6th of January. There is something similar to the American Trick or Treat, where the children from the neighborhood come to sing a song and you have to give them something, cookies, nuts, or even coins. But noon here to sing in front of my door, so I made them just for my meraki. 🙂
Baked pumpkin, dry figs and dates are a perfect fit for the whole supper.
Walnuts. We brake them at the end of the dinner.
Boiled chestnuts. I really enjoyed them.

I added some drinks, mainly red wine, or Rakija and what ever everyone else wants. The dinner is ready. I really enjoyed how I spend my Orthodox Christmas Eve dinner, and I couldn’t stop eating. Hope you all have just an idea how it looks like. There are many more things to do and explain and eat, but I really hope you all have the opportunity to enjoy this kind of dinner someday.

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