THE TRADITIONAL CEREMONY of the Vasilopita is one of the more beautiful and inspirational customs of the Greek Orthodox Church which includes all Eastern Orthodox faithful the world over. The annual family celebration of the Vasilopita on New Year’s Day is perpetuated from the original event which happened in the last half of the 4th century, and is very much alive around the world in Eastern Orthodox homes every year.
THE GREEK WORD “VASILOPITA” is directly translated as “Sweet Bread of Basil”. When the Vasilopita is prepared, sweet flavoring is added to the ingredients, which symbolize the sweetness and joy of life everlasting. Vasilopita is the symbolic hope that the New Year will be filled with the sweetness of life, liberty, health, and happiness for all those who participate in the ceremony.
A COIN IS BAKED INTO THE DOUGH OR PLACED INTO THE BREAD, and when cut into slices by the senior member of the family, the individual who receives the slice containing the coin is considered Blessed with Good Luck for the upcoming New Year.
Each portion of the Vasilopita Bread (or Cake) is distributed in the following order: 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, and the remaining 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.
The Official St. Basil the Great Golden Vasilopita Coins are available throughout the year, but most popular during Christmas and New Year.
The VAS-PC shown to your left is presented in a Clear Presentation Case and a uniquely beautiful gift that will truly inspire the recipient.
More options of the same coin are available in different formats to allow you more choices.
Designed and minted by Father George Papadeas to celebrate one of the Most Joyous Traditional Family Celebrations, the ceremonial cutting of The Vasilopita on New Years Day!
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CAUTION: Be mindful when serving the Vasilopita slice to small children and the elderly as the coin could be a choking hazard.
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