My family’s culture is Carpatho – Rusyn. My mother is 100% Carpatho-Rusyn. Each year, Rusyn’s celebrate Christmas Eve with the Holy Supper. In our family, this is a seven course meatless meal, which includes homemade piroghi.
Before the beginning of the Holy Supper meal, my mom sprinkles all of us at the table with holy water so that we will be thinking of the Birth of Christ. We light a single candle on the table to symbolize the appearance of Christ, at His Birth. We then do a toast with Palenka before the start of the meal. My mom then goes around before dinner and puts honey on our foreheads, which symbolizes the sweetness of life.
We all eat a piece of raw garlic for the bitterness of life. We then dig into a seven course meal, which is really delicious! At the end of dinner, someone will blow out the candle and wherever the smoke goes to, that person will have good luck the following year. Because the meal is seven courses, we make the piroghi ahead of time. This is Nicholas and Susanna (my twins) helping out making piroghi for our Christmas Eve dinner. In Tea – of course!!