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: (more…)