The Christmas Eve And The Christmas
As the days draw shorter, Lithuanians have finished most needed chores and are ready to celebrate Christmas Eve, December 24th, and Christmas, December 25th.
Christmas Eve is very special time with the gathering of the family at the ritual meal „kucia“. This word has been borrowed from Greek „kukkia“.
Kucia denotes (pasižymi) the main food of the ritual supper, made from grain and pulse.
The evening meal begins when the evening star appears in the sky. A white, linen tablecloth is placed on a hay-covered table. Hay symbolizes the birth of Jesus in the manger (ėdžios) and also the hay, where the souls of dead family members rest on.
Holy wafers and Christmas bread are placed side by side in the center of the table.
There are surrounded by other foods, of which there can be seven, nine or twelve, all meatless. Twelve foods are most commonly prepared, to assure that the coming year, twelve months, will be good and plentiful.
The traditional kucia – porridge (košė), is eaten with poppy seed milk (aguonų pienas), as are the Christmas biscuits. It is a must to eat outmeal pudding with sweetened water.