Ignazhden / 20.12 /
[img left]uploads/old/images/misc/st.ignatius.jpg[/img] This Christian holiday is celebrated in honour of St. Ignatius, he also called himself Bogomolets (Greek: Theophorus “God Bearer”). From Ignazhden until Christmas Eve is the time of Virgin Mary’s throes, who was going to give birth to the young Son of God. According to popular belief Ignazhden is the start of New Year’s and Christmas holidays.
The main ritual on this day is called “polyazvane”. The women watch careful who will enter their home first on this day and so they predict what will be the upcoming year. If the first to enter is a good man and a housekeeper, there'll be a fruitful and happy year for the family. This person, who enters first in the house is called “polyaznik”. The family prepares a special ritual table for the “polyaznik” in order to express their respect and honour towards the guest.
On this day takes place the first Christmas dinner. The food is entirely vegetarian - yeast bread without decorations, bagels, cooked bulgur, potatoes with rice, boiled beans and corn, dried fruits, cabbage, onion, garlic. A candle is ignited on top of the boiled wheat or the bread. The oldest family member censes the table with lit incense.
Round loaf with yeast
Ingredients: 1kg flour, 10g yeast, 150g milk and 150g water, 5g salt.
The flour is placed in a bowl and a small pit is made in the middle where are poured milk, water, yeast and crushed salt. All this is mixed in dough and then formed into a loaf to be placed in a baking dish. Bake after the rise.
Round open bagels are made from the dough for yeast bread. Scatter on top with salt and sesame. Leave in a warm place to rise and smear over with water before baking.
© Krasimira Dubarova