The Vasilopita Collection
A 1,600 year-old Tradition we Must Preserve for our Youth
THE TRADITION - One of the more beautiful and inspirational traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church is the annual family celebration of the Vasilopita. This original event which happened in Cappadocia of Caesarea in the last half of the fourth century, is very much alive in our Orthodox homes each year.
The Greek word Vasilopita is directly translated as “Sweet Bread of Basil”. When the Vasilopita is prepared, a coin is baked into the ingredients. Sweet flavoring is added to the bread which symbolizes the sweetness and joy of life everlasting. It also symbolizes the hope that the New Year will be filled with the sweetness of life, liberty, health, and happiness for all who participate in the Vasilopita Observance.
When the observance begins, usually on New Years Day, the bread is traditionally cut by the senior member of the family, and the individual who receives the portion of the Pita which contains the coin is considered Blessed for the New Year.
Each portion of the Vasilopita are distributed as follows: The first portion is cut in remembrance of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The second is for the Holy Mother of our Lord, The Virgin Mary. The third is for St. Basil the Great, the other portions are cut for the members of the family beginning with the eldest. Portions may also be cut for the Church, the house, the traveler, the visitor and the poor.
“Therefore brethren stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught whether by word or our epistle.” - Thessalonians 2:15