Still waiting for Santa?… I hear you ask, with a bit of eye-rolling in the background.
Well, yes you do, if you’re a Greek kid. For in my country of birth, Santa – or Saint Basil (Agios Vassilios – ‘Αγιος Βασίλειος) to be precise – comes all the way from Caesarea in Asia Minor to bring gifts to the children on December 31st. That’s because the Greek Orthodox Church honours the memory of the kind Saint who was always on the side of the needy aiding the poor, on January 1st. And every Greek family serves vasilopita, a round brioche-like cake with a coin inside. The cake is then swirled around before cutting it in equal pieces for everyone present, not forgetting those living in the family’s memories, the church and, of course, Saint Basil.
Tradition has it that who finds the coin is blessed with good luck the whole year round.
You see my friends, all good things to those who wait…
Quack Quack Quack! Ho Ho Ho!
December 31st, 2016