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2015- Vasilopita for St. Basil's Academy...What a Glorious Day!

Our community coming together to support St. Barbara's Philoptochos chapter on their Vasilopita fundraising efforts for St. Basil Academy.

January 1st is an important date in Greece because it is not only the first day of the New Year but it is also St. Basil's Day. St Basil was one the forefathers of the Greek Orthodox Church. He is remembered for his kindness and generosity to the poor. He is thought to have died on this date so this is how they honor him.

New Year is perhaps even more festive and important then Christmas as it is the main day for gift-giving and for stories of St Basil's kindness to children and the stories of how he would come in the night and leave gifts for the children in their shoes.

Greeks have a Christian name that is the name of a religious figure or a saint. On the religious calendar each day has a different feast and people celebrate their name-day accordingly. January 1 is St Basil's Day which is the day for those named Vassilios and Vassiliki. On name-days and St Basil's day people visit their friends and relatives and exchange gifts, not just for those whose name-day it was but also for those whose name day it isn't. On these visits they have a big feast of food, drinks and music.

There are many special dishes that are prepared at New Year but the most important dish is Vassilopita or St Basil's cake, inside the cake is placed a silver or gold coin.

The cake is distributed in accordance to a strict order. First piece is for St Basil, the second for the house, the next for the most senior member of the household down to the youngest member and also including absent members. There may also be a piece of cake for the cattle and a large piece for the poor. Whoever finds the coin in their piece of cake will be lucky for the next year.
Vasilopita for St. Basil's Academy