Preparation for Christmas Eve takes all day. The house is cleaned, food prepared not only for the special supper called “kucios” but also for the first day of Christmas. People fast and abstain from meat.
On Christmas Eve the house must be thoroughly cleaned, all the bed linen changed and all the members of the family must bathe and put clean clothes on before the evening meal. The table is prepared as follows: a handful of fine hay is evenly spread on the table. The table is covered with an entirely white tablecloth. All the members of the family make efforts to come home for the Christmas Eve supper, even those who are in the distance.
Not only the meal, but namely the Sacred Family ritual draws the family members closer. If a family member died that year or cannot attend the meal, an empty place is left at the table.
Long ago, the principal dish was "kucia", a mixture of various cooked grains: wheat, barley, oat, peas, and beans. It used to be eaten with honey diluted in warm boiled water. The word "kucia" comes from the White Russia (now Bielorussia) and means a porridge of dried grain.
Audra Bakuniene and students, Secondary School, Kaunas, Lithuania