Despite Christianity being an “official” religion in Russia, Russians have always been deeply pagan. Apparently most of the rituals and traditions of Russian Orthodox Church rooted in the pagan culture of pre-Christian Russia. In the same way the tradition of fortune-telling nights straight after the Russian Christmas (7th January) – is still popular, even after over 1000 years of Christianity.
Since many years my girlfriends and me, we meet after the Russian Christmas to enjoy a special way of fortune-telling, originally in South-Russian tradition. We make and eat VARENIKI – a kind of stuffed dumplings: stuffed with food and “telling objects” 🙂
Now let me share with you the fun.
As a stuffing we normally use smashed potato and mushrooms, however for the sake of fortune-telling we used some other things as well:
Here on the plate you can see:
tomatoes -for love
coins -for money/wealth
boy leaf -for job and fame
ring -for wedding
thread -for travel
Then vareniki were carefully and artistically stuffed:
A proper varenik should look like this:
I don`t remember what this one was stuffed with, but basically we were all keen on to find out who will get the ones with the rings!!!!!)
After the vareniki were cooked everyone could pick up as many as one is able to eat and we started carefully opening them trying not to miss the precious stuffing:
One girl was fortunate enough to get even 2 rings!! – the future-telling “works” actually for 1 year and now we are guessing what will happen to her (will she get married twice? or will get two proposals???
And while my dearest girlfriends have been getting all benefits of life like money, travel, fame, rings… I only got love and love and love…(and one coin!). Never mind, I thought- love comes first and the rest follows 🙂
Basically I would say it is amazing how this thing works – in the last years we have seen many coincidences, like one girl even swallowed a ring and indeed got married. I keep getting tomatoes and I am indeed in love all the time…
Whatever it is, at the end of the day the vareniki tasted delicious and we had so much fun while making and eating them! – probably because we just love each other so much.
P.S: post is dedicated to my best girlfriends N., I. and I.