After a chaotic year of uncertainty and fear, people all over the world are welcoming 2021 and hoping that it will bring them health, happiness, and prosperity.
On the 1st of January, Bulgarians celebrate the new year and anticipate what lies ahead by making banitsa s kasmeti (banitsa – a type of pastry – with fortunes). This means that on this day, all households and families sit down to write a list of fortunes. While everyone includes things such as good health, good luck, money, happiness, and love in their list of fortunes, people also get creative. Taking this further, your list of fortunes could include anything you want: New car, new home, new job, new love, marriage, proposal, baby, travel … anything at all.
To place the fortunes in the banitsa, you must first assign a number for each fortune on your list. Then, you should write the number on a separate piece of paper and wrap it in aluminium foil. The fortunes are wrapped in aluminium foil so that they can easily be placed in the pastry without becoming soggy or smearing ink. When you have wrapped all of your fortunes, place them in random places on the banitsa before you put it in the oven.
After the banitsa is cooked, everyone is served a piece with fortunes. Before (or while) eating, remove and unwrap the pieces of aluminium foil, read the number written on the paper, and find out which fortune it represents.
If you are not Bulgarian or do not know how to make banitsa, you can still try this fun new year custom. That is, you can make your own fortunes and place them in whatever you want to make! For example, you can try to bake several cupcakes and stick a fortune or two in each one. Alternatively, you can make a cake and place the fortunes all around.
Ultimately, you can get creative and create your own version of banitsa with fortunes.
(Tip: Write down the person’s name next to their respective fortunes and keep the list you have made. If you do so, you will be able to check how accurate your fortunes were at the end of the year!)