Preserving Greek Heritage

More than ever, it is of paramount importance to preserve this tradition for the young, due to growing inter-faith marriages, and declining church attendance.
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, December 1, 2020 / -- The Greek Tradition of the Vasilopita (vah-see-low-pita) when literally translated, means Saint Basil Cake, and has captivated young and old for almost 1,600 years with a “Prize-Inside” mentality.

Now more than ever before, it is of paramount importance to preserve this time-honored tradition, especially for the young, due to growing inter-faith marriages, and declining church attendance.

Greeks in the United States, as well as an estimated 220 million Eastern Orthodox from around the world, share the same tradition in various ways; but all will be baking the customary Vasilopita Cake intended to bring good luck for the New Year.
Preserving Greek Heritage with The Golden Vasilopita Coin
People have been placing all kinds of valuables in this Cake, from real Gold and Silver, to basic street coins, but now there is a better way that those memories can be further remembered. The Official Golden Vasilopita Coin was designed and minted by Father George L. Papadeas of Blessed Memory.
This year, the Golden Coins from Patmos Press have been blessed by Father Joseph Samaan of Saint Demetrios Church in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Traditions like this are what every youngster remembers and cherishes about special family gatherings.
This year is more important to share, due to the shock and tragic loss of loved ones, and the looming uncertainty of future suffering from the continuing pandemic in spite of the promise of vaccines.

The New Year’s custom of the Vasilopita, revolves around the epic story of a wealthy man in 357 AD who was known for his incredible philanthropy by distributing his fortunes among the poor and later becoming a Bishop. Saint Basil the Great, as he was later known, is credited as being the father of the modern-day Hospital and to whom the Catholic Church refers as the "Doctor” of the Church.

On New Year’s Eve, either as its own affair, or as a dinner dessert celebration, the entire family sits around the table as the head of the household begins the ceremonial cutting of the Vasilopita Cake.

Children and adults alike, anxiously await as each piece of cake is cut, to see if their piece reveals the hidden Golden Coin. Tradition dictates that the person who wins the Golden Vasilopita Coin receives good fortune for the coming New Year, and the others look forward to getting their own coin soon!

The United States became a world power with the help, hard work, and dogged determination of the immigrants that landed upon our shores in the early 1900’s looking for the proverbial streets paved with gold. The Greek immigrants came to the United States with big dreams, and simple hopes bringing their traditions and associated thrill of finding the coin each year, a beautiful lasting family custom continues.

Elias Papadeas
Patmos Press
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“Therefore brethren stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught whether by word or our epistle.” - Thessalonians 2:15

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