Τετάρτη, 28 Δεκεμβρίου 2016

Vasilopita (Saint Basil Pie)

The Vasilopita (VasilOpita) is the main custom in Greece for New year.  It’s one which we encounter throughout Greece, though naturally with local variations. These are mostly to do with the ingredients of the cake. In some places it’s a cake, though there are also parts where it’s a savory or sweet pie, made with phyllo pastry. There even places where it’s a bread. There are also differences in the way the Vasilopita’s decorated.  One common feature, though is that there’s always a cross and a reference to the year. And in all cases, the cake or pie is round and has a coin hidden inside it.

Most Greeks cut the Vasilopita  immediately after the turn of the year. In some areas, however,  the pie or cake is cut at the lunch table on Saint Basil’s day (1 January). But whenever the pie’s cut, the same procedure is followed. The man of the house makes the sign of the Cross three times over it with a knife and then starts cutting the pieces. The first is for Christ, the second for His Mother, the third for Saint Basil, the fourth for the house and then a piece for each member of the family, according to age. The last piece is for the poor. In some places, mainly agricultural areas, two more pieces are cut: one for the animals and one for the sown crops. Whoever finds the coin is considered to be the lucky person for that year and is usually given a gift or a sum of money together with the coin. If the coins is found in the portion of Christ, Our Lady or Saint Basil, the money’s given to the Church. If it’s in the portion of the poor, it’s given to a beggar.
More here: http://pemptousia.com

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