Wednesday, March 22, 2023

“Dinner for One” and lucky slips in cheesecake

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Copenhagen City Hall: Five minutes to twelve the City Hall bells are shown on TV. Then you wait anxiously for the bell to ring.

Torben Hede Hansen (37) from Denmark

“A typical Danish New Year starts around 15 minutes before 6 p.m. The guests gather at their host’s to listen to the Queen’s speech. She performs at the same time every December 31st and ends the speech with “God save Denmark”, followed by a toast with cheap sparkling wine. When it comes to food, the hosts usually go to great lengths and the guests share in the cost of the menu. One of the guests is giving a speech about the past year or has prepared a quiz. Shortly before midnight, the film “Dinner for One” is shown on television. Many Danes watch this film every year. At five minutes to twelve the town hall bells of Copenhagen are faded in. Then the countdown begins.”

Elsa Mitova (26) from Bulgaria

«On New Year’s Eve we traditionally make a banitsa, which is a kind of cheesecake with Bulgarian white cheese and puff pastry. My grandmother was particularly good at baking it. Kusmetcheta are placed between the dough sheets and the cheese, these are small lucky notes on which good wishes for the New Year are written. That’s always done by the oldest man in the family, my grandfather in our case. At midnight, each person in the family turns the plate on which the banitsa lies once. And you get the piece with the Kusmetcheta, which is in front of you at the end. You then read the pieces of paper to each other, and you get the wish you drew.”

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