My informant discussed her families dinner for New Year’s Eve with me, she is from Bulgaria, “Every year I ferment cabbage leaves outside on our porch for a while before New Years, it’s like, ummmm…sauerkraut! Only it’s not shredded up, it’s whole leaves. I make small balls of beef with, ummm, you know these really good spices. Then I wrap the leaves around the beef, it is called surmi. In Bulgaria this is good luck to eat on New Year’s Eve, and it represents keeping the luck within the house. It can’t be made with any meat with birds, you can’t eat chicken or anything on New Year’s, you know, because then your luck will fly away from you…Don’t eat birds on new years, okay Lexi.”
There is obviously a great deal of symbolism involved in the idea of the bird causing luck, or prosperity to fly away and leave the household. In many different European cultures cabbage is eaten as a symbol of good luck or prosperity.