Set of ceramics dishes for Eve. Producer – Pokutska ceramics.
Eve, or, Bagata Kutia is one of the most mystical event before Christmas. All of his ceremonies and rituals speak about his ancient sacred meaning.
Let’s take a look what are modern researchers, ethnographers and graphomaniacs writing? Google lets me know politely about that.
Age-old traditions have preserved at Ukraine till these days, one of which is twelve lean Eve dishes. Usually, there are wheat kutia, compote, borsch, boiled peas, roasted cabbage, fish, dumplings, potatoes, mushrooms, stuffed cabbages, doughnuts. There are some regional differences, but generally this menu is common.
Wikipedia, for example, considers that main ritual dishes on Eve are kutia and compote. Rest dishes can change strongly enough, depending on region and family wealth. Most important requirement is that dishes should be lean, because Eve is last day of Philip fasting.
Dishes, which are prepared on Eve:
Kutia, compote, sichenyky from peas, roasted or aspic fish, lean borsch (with mushrooms and prunes), braised cabbage with mushrooms, stuffed cabbages with rice and braised carrot and parsnip or stuffed cabbages under mushroom sauce, with wheat; wheat porridge with mushroom flavoring on oil; salad from beetroot and cleaned herring; salad from salt cucumbers, sour cabbage and onion; bean pancakes; acute flavoring from pounded garlic, black pepper, green fennel, tomato paste and oil; doughnuts; kalatches; stuffed little beetroots; vegetables (carrot, beetroots, cabbage), apples, pears, plumps (sometimes pickled); mushrooms; cakes with honey; Christmas stars; lean dumplings with potatoes, beans or cabbage; lean pancakes (Transcarpathia); halambets (Transcarpathia); kreplyky to lean borsch (Ivano-Frankovsk region) .
There is good choice for persistent gourmet, but let’s move forward.
Kutia has to be at a table necessarily. There is main ritual meal. It is cooked from wheat or barley grains. Add malt to cooked grains. Pot with kutia is put on penance into nest that is made from most flavored hay. Pot is covered by bread and piece of salt.
Because it is believed, that at the time of nativity of the Sun, that’s on Christmas, spirits of Primogenitors have settled into houses with approaching of twilights, that is in their honor put onto honorary place (penance) of Didukh, nearby of which have to be kutia and compote, which are memorial meals.
Ritual of carrying of kutia deserves on special attention, which is usually carried by hostess:
• Kutia into penance, compote – on market, and pies – on auctions.
Pot with kutia is put in penance into nest that is made from most flavored hay. Pot is covered with bread and piece of salt. .
Eve bread, that is also named Karachun, has value as symbol of culture first achievements and person of great-grandfather. .
At Christian tradition, dishes symbolize twelve apostles. .
Expanded treatment is found into Metr. prot. Dr. Michael Dimid :
1. Kutia is boiled wheat with honey and poppy and is act of God sacrifice, because wheat with honey is sacred part of Holy dinner. Poppy is symbol of martyrdom and innocently shed blood. Honey is symbol of cleanliness and God’s word.
2. Peas are a symbol of God’s spring that usually regenerates into human after decadence.
3. Braised cabbage. Cabbage act as a symbol of simplicity and, at the same time, strength, unity about one solid basis.
4. Borsch is a symbol of the triumph of good. As hostess has prepared lean borsch from different simply vegetables that are given to her by earth, as at the same a Christian have polished his will from simply, daily, small and healthy practices that are taken from family home or good Christian community. Christmas borsch is soured previously by prepared brew from beetroot, so has dark-red color. It symbolizes also blood of Bethlehem children, which were destroyed by order of Herod.
5. Stuffed cabbage. The name of this dish has talked onto its symbolism. Dove is a symbol of God’s love, symbol of the Holy Spirit, symbol of beauty and strength, taken from Creator.
6. Fish. At the early Christianity, fish was taken as symbol of Christ by a lot of Fathers of Churches. Sign of fish was a first monogram of Christ. Greek abbreviation ІХТІОС – name of Jesus is read as “fish”. Exactly brothers’ fishermen were first students of Jesus, which talked to them, that they would be “fishers of men”. Believers, students of Jesus, as he was one of theirs, assimilated to fish, which had been in safety just into “water of teaching”. Three interwoven fish or three fish with one head symbolize triune Godhead.
7. Dumplings symbolize prosperity. God has appointed man’s place into the Kingdom of God, when he has felt himself well “as dumpling in oil”.
8. Pancakes are original symbol of Sun. Jesus Christ became new Sun for Christians.
9. Porridge symbolizes continuation of family. There are God’s people, which consolidate around newborn Jesus. Porridge is a symbol of common union of people thanks to sanctification of people that became through incarnation of Son of God.
10. Cakes are symbol of health and happy, that human can get in constant speaking with newborn Jesus.
11. Compote (water) represents a life that is given to every human. Holy water is a symbol of cleaning of body and soul.
12. Doughnuts are saints on sky, which have believed in Jesus and got ageless life. There are millions, and every human, in particular Christian, is called to that sweet, complete life. Word “holiday” has derived from “holy”, and from here doughnut is a symbol of holiday, joy, that are taken to people by God.
What, assumptions are a lot, rituals are interpreted differently. Try to put one more thought.
Sure, what about, that will be written next a few has knew or heard. At least, I didn’t find that information at the web. Sure, that a lot who will see at this artifices, fantasies or nonsense. But we don’t pretend on truth in last instance.
So, let’s begin.
Below point of view has based on spiritual and scientific researches. Anthroposophy is way of knowledge that is called that spiritual in human has led in spiritual in Universe.
Christmas Holiday has found in Steiner [5, 6] is a holiday of sense of harmony with all Universe. Christmas idea is the origin of human in the past from the forces of good, truth and sooth. Before entering Christmas Holiday have celebrated something else with respect to which has had the same idea, that has henceforth had in Celebration of Jesus’ birth.
At a human soul has been revived always significant with coming of Christmas Holiday. That what we can say this: if human look at the world correctly, he always can revive a belief to humanity at himself, don’t worry about disharmony and disorders of life.
Idea of human’s origin and development consists in this Holiday.
In order to be clear arguments about interpretation of Eve symbols (namely 12 dishes at a table), I will describe some important moments.
Descry, from what human consists.
1. Physical (mineral) body. Physical body has also and a stone, but human differs from a stone by something.
2. Essential (living) body. Human is growing, eating, reproducing. A plant also. But, human differs from a plant.
3. Astral (sense) body. Human has character to feel of odors and tastes, pain and happy. A plant doesn’t have these characters, but animals have ones. But, human differs from animals also by something.
4. Human “I” is wakened will, conscience. An animal can’t talk to you “I”. Thanks to his “I” human can treat astral and ethereal bodies.
5. Cultivating his “I” human works on astral body and refines passions through self-restraint, moral and so on.
6. Than higher human has developed intellectual, than more his “I” has worked above astral body. That human has created himself at astral body; fifth body has called Manas or samoduh.
7. Similarly, human can work out and his ethereal body. Developed thanks to “I” ethereal body is called Buddhi or zhyttyeduh.
8. Highest gift, that human can get on earth, is ability to work above his physical body. It means to manage of breathing, working of units, track of nervous processes of system and manage of thinking process. It is seventh human’s component named Atma.
Get back to 12 Eve dishes, based on kutia, that symbolizes nothing else as ….. a human. This dish has to be consisting from 7 components. Review them carefully, linking to above information about what human’s components are.
1. Noggin. It is clay, from which human is created. So, it is our physical body.
2. Water, without which a human life isn’t possible, symbolizes ethereal body.
3. Honey gives taste to our kutia and symbolizes thus taste to life, our astral body.
4. Nut, even on form reminds human’s brain, means thinking, conscience, namely human “I”.
5. Pounded poppy wakes parasyckological abilities and is a symbol of human’s samoduh.
6. Grape is a symbol of cleaned ethereal body and carries a sign of zhyttyeduh at itself.
7. That, what will be made from noggin after, since a human goes all of his development cycle at this planet, has cleaned his physical body – wheat, barley - that symbolize Atma.
Kutia consorts with sign of Capricorn. Christ was born under this sign. But for a long time before his birth, this Holiday was a reminder about that, when at an age of ancient Lemuria from divine heights, immortal soul got off on Earth and united with human bodies. Before that soul has worked unconsciously in the darkness, but flash of conscience is recognized symbolic as win of Sun.
On Christmas, thinking and new idea have to be born at a human. From Holiday of memories, Christmas has become holiday of modernity, that human has felt directly at nowadays as birth .
Twelve sacred forces of Universe are represented symbolic at twelve signs of the Zodiac.
1. Capricorn is kutia;
2. Aquarius is borsch;
3. Fish is fish (only one dish at a table, that consorts with animal kingdom);
4. Ram is wine or mead;
5. Taurus is stuffed cabbages with wheat;
6. Twins are kreplyky with onion;
7. Cancer is compote from garden fruits: pears and apples; Compote is put on penance (angle in Ukrainian peasant house that locates on diagonal from oven, when two benches come together by edges, and place near from it. Holiest and honorary place at a house ). Cancer symbolizes Moon, and Moon is a previous incarnation of Earth.
8. Lion is doughnuts with garlic;
9. Virgin is mushrooms;
10. Scales are triangular pies with cabbage;
11. Scorpion is salt (only what is related to mineral kingdom at Eve’s table);
12. Shooter is peas.
Next are described recipes of Eve dishes. Want to note, that when traditions are spawned, haven’t been potatoes, tomatoes and spices at Ukraine, so below recipes are very simple and authentic.
Wheat grain (wheat, barley) is washed by cold water; put to boil till becomes soft. Poppy is washed, water is poured upon and add poppy till noggin. Grind it till appearance of milky blend, add honey. Boiled grain of wheat is put into noggin with grinded poppy, blend, add nuts, raisins.
Ferment of beetroot: cut into strips, pour with cold water and withstand for one week into wooden barrel, add cut peel of brown bread. Borsch is boiled exactly on this sourdough. Boil fresh beetroot, peel, cut into strips, pour with pickle, salt, add oil (from cannabis or linen).
2 kg of fish, 2 onions, 2 middle carrots, salt.
Fish is prepared, removing peel and bones, cutting onto pieces.
Head, fins, tail, bones are boiled for 2 hours under closed cover; add carrot, onion, salt. Broth is strained, put into it pieces of fish. Boil of fish till readiness (20-25 minutes).
Head of fish is removed and cooled. Put fish on dish, pour with broth and cool.
Christianity hasn’t been taught about incarnation for over 2,000 years. It is a little educational ground. At an ancient Mysteries is drunk just water, at Christian – wine, because clergy had through drinking of wine to lose knowledge about reincarnation. Those, who have drunk wine, can’t come to true cognition of Manas, Buddhi, Atma, and also to understand reincarnation.
Stuffed cabbages with wheat
Fresh cabbage is cooked at boiled water by entire head without stalk and divided of leaves, cut of veins. Wheat is washed, poured by water, bring to a boil and put on sieve. After put in it light-roasted minced onion and carrot, salt. Filled wheat is put on prepared leaves of cabbage, wrapped in cabbages and put in fictile pot, poured with salted water and stewed at an oven till readiness.
On 1 kg of fresh cabbage – 1 glass of wheat, 2 carrots, 1 onion, and 1 tablespoon of wheat flour. Can take leaves from grape or beet.
Wheat flour – 2 glasses, water – 0.5 glass, oil, herring – 200 g, onion – 1 piece.
Onion is cut, stewed in oil till golden color.
Herring is cleaned from bones, cut on little pieces, blended with roasted onion.
Knead of dough, roll it out thinly, cut out little circles, add filling inside, close as meat dumplings.
Boil in salted water, cooked kreplyky are poured by oil.
There is one of most traditional beverage.
Prepared garden fruits, dried on sun at autumn – plumps, pears, apples – are poured with boiling water and soared at an oven, decocted, decanted and cooled.
At Christmas, compote is put in beautiful jug on penance together with kutia, and nearby at bowl are layed out from compote pears, plumps, apples with tails up, that would be comfortable taken it.
400 g of wheat flour – 1 tablespoon of sugar, 12 g of yeast, 10 g of oil, ¾ glass of water.
At warm water are dissolved yeast, sugar, salt and with ¼ prepared flour kneaded a dough, that is given time to rise.
From dough are made dumplings with weight by 25 g, given to rise and cooked at an oven.
For gravy – 30 g of garlic, 1 tablespoon of oil, 0.5 glass of kvass. At grinded garlic with salt is added oil, kvass and blended well.
Forest dried mushrooms, 2 onions, 1 carrot, and 1.5 l of water.
Mushrooms are weted on 2-3 hours at cold water. After this water is filtered, again are poured mushrooms and cooked 1.5-2 hours on light fire. For 20 minutes till finishing of cooking are put previously toasted vegetables, salted.
Pies with cabbage
Wheat flour – 3 glasses, water – 1 glass, oil, salt, cabbage – 300 g, onion – 1 piece.
Cabbage is cut, fried in oil, blended with fried onion, salted.
Knead of dough, roll it out thinly, cut out little boxes, fill it and close on diagonal.
Boil in salted water, cooked pies are poured by oil.
Put peas in fictile pot till half; pour by warm salted water, so that water has to be on 2-3 cm up from peas, close by cover, put in an oven on 3 hours. Serve with fried onion and oil.
List of sources
1. Voropay O. Traditions of our people: Ethnographic sketch. – Kiev: Oberig, 1993. – 590 p.
2. Xenophon Sosenko. Cultural-historical figure of Old Ukrainian Christmas and Eve. Lviv, 1928. SINTO, Kiev, 1994. 343 p.
4. Metr. prot. Dr. Michael Dimid. Symbolics of Eve proskomydiyi. http://pokrovact.com/docs/sviat-vechir.html
5. Rudolf Steiner. Christmas as holiday of inspiration.
6. Rudolf Steiner. Signs and symbols of Christmas.
7. Rudolf Steiner. Holidays of year.
8. Rudolf Steiner. At the gate of theosophy.
9. Rudolf Steiner. Encyclopedia of spiritual science. B.1.
Set of ceramics dishes for Eve. Producer – Pokutska ceramics.