In the Russian culture, fortune-telling dates back to pre-Christianity, as people have always tried to get a glimpse of the unknown and found exciting (and delicious) ways to do so. One might argue that many methods were developed and perfected by unmarried girls curious about their future love interests. Whether the same methods work for single males in pursuit of a suitable match requires further research. For the record, there’s no scientific evidence that fortune telling on blinis – as popular as it might be – works for anyone, but it is guaranteed to bring on a blissful food coma.

The First Blin

A famous Russian saying goes: “Первый блин комом,” (“The first pancake is always lumpy”) as in the first attempt always goes wrong. Picture yourself in the kitchen, next to a hissing skillet, a bowl of smooth batter waiting on the counter. As you pour the first ladleful and swirl it around, your first blin is almost cooked. Then comes the tricky part.

  • If it’s easy to flip, you will get engaged within a year. If it doesn’t, you’ll get to enjoy your singles lifestyle for the next three years. 

  • It gets more complicated: if the blin did flip easily and its edges are smooth, then the union will be a happy one. If your flipping skills are questionable and the edges come out torn, it’s your sign to take a better look before taking a leap into matrimony. 

  • If the blin is skinny, then things will be easy this year. If fat, there’s lots of challenges ahead.

  • The best way to deal with the first blin is to give it to a dog – this guarantees financial stability for the whole family.

Credit:  Max Griss (@grisskitchen) on Unsplash

Credit:  Max Griss (@grisskitchen) on Unsplash


For this kind of fortune-telling, blini with various fillings are arranged on a plate and everyone takes one. You pick a blin, take a bite and savor the flavor and what’s to come. 

  • Meat – prosperity

  • Caviar - prosperity bordering on wealth

  • Cottage cheese – money

  • Chocolate – happiness and joy

  • Strawberries – love

  • Mushrooms – also love

  • Cabbage – fun

  • Overly salty – health challenges

Now pick a second blin. This time, it will reveal your potential boyfriend’s character (whether it applies to girlfriends remains unresearched): 

  • Honey – romantic

  • Cottage cheese – caring but not very committed

  • Sour cream – indecisive, shy

  • Fish – serious and confident

  • No filling – calm and boring

The Last Blin

Similar to the first one, the last blin also has significance. Typically, it’s considered impolite to take the last of anything, but in this case, what’s left also has special significance. The number of pancakes  left is the number of years you’ll stay single. (Disclaimer: how this correlates with the First Blin Rule we’re not sure). If all blinis are gone quickly (likely to be the case), it will be a happy and successful year.

Feel like giving this truly unscientific concept a whirl? You can try whipping up your own blinis or sample them at one of the festivals taking place this week.