Vasilopita – The Gold Coin
A coin is usually placed in the cake batter or bread dough before it is baked. The person who receives the slice of cake/bread when it is cut is considered to be fortunate or “lucky” for the year.
How to Cut Vasilopita
The head of the household takes the knife and makes the sign of the cross over the bread, saying:
“In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.”
The cake/bread is then cut and the pieces are handed out carefully in a special order.
This is the correct order:
- The first piece is for Christ – place this piece on the family’s ikonistasi – the family alter.
- The next piece is for the Virgin Mary – again this can be placed on the family alter.
- Then a piece is cut for St Basil – if the Vasilopita is cut at midnight, then leave this piece out of the table for St Basil to come and visit.
- The next piece is cut for the needy.
- Pieces of Vasilopita are now cut for members of the family. Again, in special order. Start with the head of the household, then each member of the family in order from eldest to youngest.
- Include those who are absent.
- Then cut a piece for the house (and one for the farm/or your family business).
- If you live on an Island, then you may cut a piece for the family’s boat.
Why You Should Cut A Piece Of Vasilopita For Saint Basil & The Needy:
Not everyone will follow the “correct” order of cutting the Vasilopita and prefer not to “waste” pieces of cake/bread. Instead, many families will just cut one piece for Christ and then one piece for each family member from the eldest to the youngest.
However it is said that, you should always begin with Christ and St Basil and that there should always be a piece for the less fortunate. There are many reasons for this:
- The Vasilopita is made to celebrate the Feast Day of St Basil
- The Orthodox Calendar celebrates the New Year on 1st September, NOT on the 1st of January so the Vasilopita is not really a New Years Day Cake
- St Basil is known for his charity and for helping the poor. Read more about his story here: The History of Vasilopita
When handing out the pieces of Vasilopita, the head of the household wishes each person in turn “Chronia Polla” (Χρόνια πολλά) or “Kali Chronia” (Καλή Χρονιά). The person who finds the coin in their piece will have luck any good fortune for the entire year to come.
A Lucky Year
I have been very lucky with Vasilopita in the past.
In 2009, I found the coin inside my piece of cake and that year, my husband proposed to me. Then, in 2011 the lucky coin was found in-between both my piece and my husband’s piece. That same year we were married. In 2016 it was again found in the middle of my piece and my husband’s piece – that year we celebrated my little boy’s Christening and fell pregnant with baby #2.
Have you ever found the Vasilopita coin?
Share your lucky story in the comments!
Related Posts You Might Love:
- The Orthodox Reason Why You Should Not Call Vasilopita the New Years Day Bread
- A Thermomix Recipe for Vasilopita
- The History of Vasilopita
- Vasilopita – Greek New Years Day Bread
- Join the Greek Cooking Challenge