On January 1st (14th) Is The Feast Of St Basil The Great
St. Basil the Great, who was a bishop, ones wanted to distribute money to the poor in his diocese. There are various traditions about the reasons behind the distribution, but the stories all agree in the matter of how he did it. St. Basil commissioned some women to bake sweetened bread, in which he arranged to place gold coins. Thus the families cutting the bread to nourish themselves were pleasantly surprised to find the coins.
Vasilopita, St Basilâ's Bread, Today
According to tradition, special sweet bread or cake is prepared both in the Orthodox homes and in the Church community which is called Vasilopita. Sweets are added to the bread, which symbolize the sweetness and joy of life everlasting. It also symbolizes the hope that the New Year will be filled with the sweetness of God's blessings for all who participate in the Vasilopita Observance. When the Vasilopita is prepared, a coin is usually added to the ingredients. When the bread is cut and the observance begins, the individual who receives that portion of the pita which contains the coin is considered blessed.
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