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12 dishes for Christmas

12 dishes for Christmas

Dishes for Christmas Eve

At Christmas, more precisely, on the Holy Evening on Christmas Eve, according to tradition, a dinner is held in honor of this holiday. On Christmas Eve there must be 12 dishes on the table, symbolizing the 12 apostles. Since Christmas Eve is the end of the Nativity Fast, all dishes on the table must be meatless. This tradition is common in Eastern European countries; in other countries there are completely different culinary traditions of preparing various dishes for Christmas.

Traditional Christmas Recipes


Kutia is the main ritual dish on Christmas Eve. Usually kutia for Christmas is made from wheat, but there are recipes for kutia and rice, bulgur or pearl barley, which significantly diversify its taste.


Uzvar is a festive drink that is prepared for Christmas from dry and fresh fruits and honey. There are various recipes for preparing Christmas uzvar.


Borscht is a traditional Ukrainian dish. For Christmas, Lenten borscht is prepared in vegetable broth; meat is not included in the recipe.


Kapusnyak is another soup for Christmas, as its name suggests, kapustnyak is prepared on the basis of cabbage.


Bread must be present among the Christmas dishes on the table on Christmas Eve


Fish is another mandatory attribute of the Christmas menu in Eastern European countries; a wide variety of festive dishes are prepared from fish at Christmas.

Peas and Beans

Peas and beans should also be present on the Christmas table.


On Christmas Eve, garlic is placed in the corners of the table and then eaten; garlic symbolizes health and cleansing from sins.

Stuffed cabbage rolls

Stuffed cabbage rolls are one of the recipes for dishes that can be prepared for the festive table on Christmas Eve.


Pampushky - another version of bread that is baked for Christmas


Porridge should be present on the Christmas table; it symbolizes the continuation of the family, the fertility of livestock and the productivity of land.


Vareniki are another festive dish that is well suited for the Christmas menu on Christmas Eve.

Should You Limit Yourself to 12 Dishes for Christmas?

Since there is no rigid list of recipes for Christmas dishes in nature, the Christmas menu may include certain holiday dishes from a very wide range of Christmas dishes.

  • Kutya
  • Uzvar
  • Borscht with ears
  • Lenten borscht with crucian carp and mushrooms
  • Cabbage rubbed with oil and millet
  • Fried or jellied fish
  • Fish with vegetables
  • Herring
  • Garlic
  • Marinated mushrooms
  • Mushroom soup
  • Stewed cabbage with mushrooms
  • Lenten dumplings with potatoes or cabbage
  • Dumplings with plums and pears, cherries and cherries
  • Lenten cabbage rolls
  • Lenten pies with vegetables or fruits
  • Vinigret with beans and sauerkraut
  • Beetroot and peeled herring salad
  • Salad of pickled cucumbers or cabbage and onions, dressed with vegetable oil
  • Millet porridge with mushroom dressing in vegetable oil
  • Buckwheat
  • Pancakes
  • Bread
  • Porridge
  • Dumplings
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Beans