This coming Wednesday, March 11th marks the half-way point of our Lenten season - the 24th day of Lent, occurring on the Wednesday of the fourth week to be precise.
Here’s a re-cap of the meaning or significance of Mid Lent, also known as Michink:
- Michink falls on a Wednesday.
- It is not a feast day.
- The same Wednesday Lenten services are performed on this day.
- Michink is celebrated during the middle of lent to encourage people to persevere until the end of lent.
- During this celebration, women would insert a coin into a pastry (gata or pagharch) and whoever receives the slice (of pastry) with the coin in it would receive good luck.
- A special sandwich, Michink Koutap, is also prepared on this day.
According to the Consulate General of Armenia in Los Angeles, “a variety of special foods are prepared in Armenian homes for Michink – such as unleavened breads, called “Bagharj,” and a kind of sandwich called “Koutap” that is filled with a mixture of boiled green beans, broad beans, and other vegetables. It is the custom to hide a metal coin or special object in both the Bagharj bread and the Koutap.”
Another source concurs that, Michink Koutap is a kind of sandwich filled with boiled green beans, broad beans, and other vegetables, but adds that the dough is prepared with olive oil, and small lumps of egg-sized dough may be flattened, enclosed around the filling, then baked. Before sealing the dough, a colorful bead or a coin would be hidden in one of the sandwiches, thus identifying the year's lucky person.
Here are a few additional Mid-Lent recipes you might like to prepare: