Kutia [кутя; kutja]. Ritual dish made with wheat or barley grain and ground poppy seeds that is eaten with a honey sauce on Christmas Eve (bahata kutia) and Epiphany Eve (holodna kutia). It is one of the oldest of the 12 traditional dishes and is served to begin or end the Christmas and Epiphany dinners. The exact recipe and its use in ritual differed in the various regions of Ukraine. Kutia was usually used to foretell a plentiful harvest and family happiness. On Christmas Eve children often took servings of kutia to their godparents, and after dinner a portion was left on the table for the souls of the deceased.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]