New year’s eve is approaching and apart from the food and drink, the Vasilopita is the center of attention. Vasilopita pronounced vah-see-LO-pee-tah, is the Greek lucky new year’s cake that has a coin hidden in it and is cut at midnight. It is tradition for each family to have their own vasilopita and a piece is cut for each family member. If the coin is in your piece you supposedly have good luck for the rest of the year.
What is the purpose of Vasilopita?
Vasilopita is a Greek word which means “Basil-pie” or “Vassilis pie” and it reffers to St. Basil who is celebrated by the Orthodox Church on January 1st each year. That’s why Vasilopita is always served on New Year’s Eve and gets cut when the clock hits 24:00.
Vasilopita is a moist cake made with ingredients everyone has at home: sugar, flour, eggs, milk and orange.
Traditionally, Vasilopita is sprinkled with icing sugar for a snowy effect and gets decorated with small Christmas ornaments. It is custom to write the year on the surface either with glaze, icing sugar, cocoa powder or nuts. You can also use sugar paste or melted chocolate.
The coin for Vasilopita
Vasilopita has a lucky coin hidden inside (it’s called “flouri” in Greek), and according to tradition, the one who gets it will be lucky all year long. The coin can be anything, from a penny to a Sovereign. There are also special coins sold in Greece each year for this purpose.
How to cut Vasilopita
On New Year’s Eve when the clock strikes 12, after everyone wishes each other a new year it is time for cutting the vasilopita. Traditionally there is a religious aspect, so the host of the house is the one who cuts the cake. The first piece is for Christ, the second for the virgin Mary, the third for the house and then follows a piece for the hosts, following by the oldest relatives and moving to the youngest.
If you are celebrating New Years’ s with friends and you are cutting a vasilopita, they all should get pieces. Anyone who is present at the gathering should get a piece.
Vasilopita is not only cut in families, but also businesses, clubs, associations and ministries. All have vasilopites that they cut during the first few weeks of the year. The concept of the coin applies to all the employees and members and is attached to a larger gift.
Why not join in the tradition this new years by enjoying you very own Vasilopita Tsoureki with friends and family, available from our online store.
We would like to take this moment to express our gratefulness to all our customers! Thank you for all you’ve done to help us grow this year. Your loyalty to us means more and more with every passing year.
Visit our dedicated e-shop and check out our plethora of delicious Greek food items available both for cooking as well as immediate consumption this festive season. The Greek Deli stocks artisanal products, including Greek juices, melomakarona, kourambiedes, tsoureki, egg dyes, olive oils, wines, cheeses, and mezedes. In addition, ready meals (such as pastitsio and gemista), sweets (such as baklava and orange cake), and Greek coffee (Loumidis) can be found in our online shop.
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