New Year's Vasilopita - 01/05/14

The tradition of baking and cutting a special "pita" each year on January 1st is observed in honor of our holy father Basil the Great, archbishop of Caesarea in Cappodocia-- hence its name "Vasilopita" meaning "St. Basil's Bread." 

In some places the Vasilopita is prepared as a loaf of rich bread, while in other places it takes the form of a spicy sheet cake (without frosting). But no matter what form a Vasilopita may take, each contains a single coin. After placing the bread dough or cake batter in the proper baking pan, the baker makes with the foil-wrapped coin the sign of the Cross over it, closes his/her eyes, and then secretely places it into the unbaked Vasilopita. After the Vasilopita is baked and cooled, it is blessed and cut following Divine Liturgy for the feast of St. Basil on January 1st.

This year Shannon was blessed to find the coin in the Vasilopita!