Monday, February 02, 2009

Our Parish Vasilopita

On Monday night, our parish of St. George's here in Panorama cut its Vasilopita (although it's associated with St. Basil, whose namesday is January 1, in practice Vasilopitas happen all during January and February).

For those of you who are not familiar with this tradition, the Vasilopita is a big bread/cake (see on the table in the second photo, above). Inside is baked a coin. Prayers are said over the Vasilopita and then cut into pieces, each designated for a certain person. The person whose piece contains the coin is said to have a special blessing for the New Year. This site explains the history behind the tradition quite well.

This is one big parish-wide event that we have every year. This year, Fr. Alexios began by outlining some of the things that had happened during the previous year (see top photo). Fr. Panayiotis then gave a talk about the Feast of the Presentation (which we celebrated today) and the importance of mothers. (The Feast of the Presentation in the Temple is Mother's Day in Greece.)

The program ended with a traditional Greek band (see below). Fr. Alexios even sang some songs with the band!

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