Vasilopita is the Greek lucky new year’s cake that has a coin hidden in it and is cut at midnight. It is a symbol of hope, happiness, and good luck for each family member for the upcoming year. A coin is hidden in the cake and whoever finds it is said to have good luck. It is tradition for each family to have their own vasilopita and a piece is cut for each family member. If the coin is in your piece, you supposedly have good luck for the rest of the year.
How to Cut a Vasilopita
On New Year’s Eve when the clock strikes 12, after everyone wishes each other a new year it is time for cutting the vasilopita. Traditionally there is a religious aspect, so the host of the house is the one who cuts the cake. The first piece is for Christ, the second for the virgin Mary, the third for the house and then follows a piece for the hosts, following by the oldest relatives and moving to the youngest. If a family member is away on a trip they are also included.
If you are celebrating New Years’ s with friends and you are cutting a vasilopita, they all should get pieces. Anyone who is present should get a piece.
The Vasilopita Coin
The coin is typically a gold plated coin or a silver coin and will be inserted in the Vasilopita, there are coins made and sold just for that reason. Whoever gets the coin, not only gets to enjoy good luck for the whole year, but they also get some sort of gift such as money and/or a charm.
Vasilopita is a moist cake made with ingredients everyone has at home: sugar, flour, eggs, milk, and orange. There is another more bread-like version made with yeast, which is a bit, more time consuming.