Dear friends of Secrets of Organ Playing!
Ausra and I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and hope
that everyone will have a chance to sit around the Christmas table today with your loved ones.
In Lithuania an ancient tradition is to have a dinner on Christmas Eve. We have to have 12 sorts of food (including bread) otherwise next year will not be prosperous. Lithuanians don't eat meat on Christmas Eve. Fish and herring are big part of the menu.
The dinner starts with the reading of the Nativity story from the Bible. Mostly from the Gospel of Luke but this year we went with Matthew.
Here's our Christmas Eve table. We gathered at Ausra's parent's place.
The first thing I did was to visit with Ausra's colleague from school and give her Christmas cookies and my Pinky and Spiky comic book. She gave us home-made bread. It's sourdough rye bread. Very heavy. A loaf of this bread weighs about a kilo. You can see it on the table here:
Next to the bread you can see poppy seeds. We use it to eat a sort of sweet soup with sugar, special cookies and water. Very filling and makes you very sleepy fast.
Ausra's mom made two kinds of pastries - one with mushrooms that they gathered in the woods around Vilnius in the summer.
At the beginning of the dinner everyone takes special waffles made like Communion and special Christmas ornaments and shares with the others around the table.
For fish Ausra's mom baked sea-perch. We haven't eaten it for a long time and it tasted so good. It's a good fish - not too many tiny bones. We ate it with steamed veggies.
Another kind of pastries was made with veggie filling. The same veggies that went together with sea-perch.
At this time of the year, it's good to have some oven-baked apples. They are no longer sour and very good for digestion. Here you can see also some Christmas cookies that Ausra's mom made. They would look well on the Christmas tree.
Ausra's mom baked a delicious-looking Christmas cake which we didn't try yesterday but it was reserved for Christmas day.
The other cake we bought from a store. It's a real German-style Christmas cake. It lacks home-made quality though...
As I mentioned before, Lithuanians eat meat on Christmas day. Here you can see a Fake Hare made from minced pork.
The other kind is ham baked in the oven. It's reserved for December 25.
This is all, my friends...
I know, it's lots of food but only to ensure that the next year will be prosperous.
After eating, Ausra's parents danced their favorite dances from their youth - waltz, foxtrot and polka. They made us watch and record them on the phone... Even though they are in their 70's, they still got the moves.
Now Ausra and I are going to go home and light some Christmas lights, draw some Pinky and Spiky comics and wait for Santa to come...
How do you celebrate Christmas?
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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