It seems really strange to say HAPPY NEW YEAR today, but i’m not joking! It is actually the beginning of a New Year in the Orthodox Church.
According to this Antiochian website, the 1st of September marks the day when Jesus of Nazareth began preaching the good news of His mission. You can learn more about Orthodox religion and calendar dates on these websites:
GOARCH suggests that to the present day, the Church has always celebrated the beginning of the New Year on September 1st and that it was the custom in Constantinople until its fall in 1453.
So, if today is New Years Day… what do we celebrate on the 1st of January?
At the beginning of every Calendar year the Greeks in Greece celebrate the new year with fireworks, fun and food just like we do here in Australia. However the celebration I am writing about today is specific to Orthodox Faith and the Calendar of the Church. On the 1st of January, the Church celebrates the Feast Day of Saint Basil on this day. Like many Greek Traditions, we celebrate this Feast Day with food. The special dish made for Saint Basil is Vasilopita and you can find the recipe here.
A personal lesson learnt:
I might sound silly when I say this but when I heard that it was New Years Day, I automatically thought about cooking Vasilopita. I always associate the new year with this cake. However, we do not make Vasilopita on the 1st of September because the Vasilopita Bread or Cake doesn’t actually have anything to do with being a new year. Thinking about it out loud now… perhaps I should change all my recipe titles for Vasilopita. Because I call it the “New Years Day Bread” and this is technically the wrong title.
A couple of other important dates:
1. On the 1st of January, the Church also celebrates the Menaion and “the Lord’s Circumcision“.
2. The 1st of September is also my name day!!
Xronia Polla Everyone!!
Are you making any New Years Resolutions?