The celebration of Epiphany

Today Christianity celebrates Epiphany, or the revelation of Jesus Christ to humanity. Since living in Switzerland I tough that the catholic feast of the Three Kings was something else entirely than the orthodox one I was used to, Boboteaza = Baptism.  It took me a while to understand that western…

A Christmas tradition from Appenzell Inner-Rhodes

Here comes a Christmas tradition from a special canton of Switzerland, Appenzell Inner-Rhodes, the smallest Swiss federal state by population number and the last one to award women the right to vote in cantonal elections (only in 1991). Appenzell Inner-Rhodes is most known for the practice of Landsgemeinde, open voting by…

Saint Lucia a beautiful and tasty Swedish tradition

Tomorrow, the 13th of December, people in Scandinavia and in other parts of the world (Italy, Croatia) celebrate Saint Lucia. I particularly like the Swedish tradition observed on this day and I decided to honor it with an illustrated interpretation and by baking the delicious Swedish Lussekatt, a sweet saffron…

Ritual food offerings – Mucenici

I don’t know why I felt compulsed to illustrate this recipe. I grew up having mucenici [mûtʃeniːʃɪ], every year for the 9th of March and still bake them here in Switzerland.  So it’s nothing special, unless maybe you’re not used to the idea of food offering because that’s what they…

New Year’s Cheese Pie

When I was a child, my grandmother and my mother would bake each year on this day our New Year’s fortune pie. Only recently in my ethnological pursuits I found out this was customary for the entire region where I was born, as part of the time renewal ritual practices.…

Kūčios – An ancient Lithuanian Christmas Tradition

One of the things I am grateful for this year is visiting Lithuania. We did it on a whim after I read Marija Gimbutas’s biography, she is a renowned Lithuanian archaeologist who loved her origins so much that I wanted to go there and see for myself what she was…