The Vasilopita is a nice Greek Tradition , a special cake for the New Year. When cutting the cake into slices on New Year’s Day, Greeks will name each slice as they cut it, after everyone in the family and friends. Usually, also a coin is hidden in the bottom of the cake. Whoever is lucky enough to get the coin in their slice is considered especially blessed in the coming year! So maybe a nice Greek tradition to also try it with your family and friends back home?
The tradition of baking and cutting a special “pita” (which can mean a loaf of bread, a cake, or even a pie) is also followed by organizations, schools, clubs and companies during the month of January. The sweetness of the bread symbolizes the hope that the New Year will be filled with the sweetness of life, liberty, health and happiness for all that participate in cutting of the Vasilopita. So whether it is with your family, your friends, your fitness club, your book club, or at Omilo, nobody escapes the “vasilopita”, and most people cut and eat much more than just one 🙂
Usually, it is cut by the senior member of the family or company. Portions of the vasilopita are distributed as follows: The first slice is cut in remembrance of Jesus Christ (in religious families), the other slices are cut for the members of the family including “the house”, and “the poor”. The recent years, more and more variations exist, according to the interests and hopes of those cutting the pie!
Of course, also the Omilo-team cuts the Vasilopita every year, during the month of January, in the Athens school.
Below you can watch a video, when we cut the pitta for 2o23, so you can picture the process a bit better. As you can see, the “2023 flouri” (lucky coin) went to the piece named after “Omilo!” 🙂 This means that following Greek tradition, Omilo-staff, teachers and students would be all very lucky or “blessed”.
From what we have seen, it was correct! In 2023, the entire team, as well as Omilo, was healthy and alive, and that is the most important, isn’t it!
Of course, “being lucky” has different definitions, and could be a nice subject to discuss about in the “advanced Greek class”.
But to keep it simple, for us it means;
” to be living in a democracy without war, to be healthy, to have a “roof above our heads”, to be able to pay the bills, and to meet many interesting students from all over the world, introducing them to Greek culture, and teaching them how to communicate in Greek :-)”
If you want to see how popular the “vasilopita” is in Greece, then click on the picture below and watch the small video of a bakery in Kifissia (North Athens).
Every year, they sell the cake during many weeks and to many customers.
We wish you all a nice and lucky year. Καλή Χρόνια!
If you would like to learn more about the Greek Traditions during the entire year,
then download our eBook “Greek To My Ears” – It is FREE!
including Greek texts, audio, videos and English translations