Every country has colourful ways of ringing in the New Year – in Spain you eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight, in The Philippines you wear polka dots and collect round objects that symbolise money and in Ecuador, you burn effigies to ward off evil spirits.
Greek celebrations are more mellow in comparison. The highlights include a ritual where someone from the household smashes a pomegranate outside the home to bring prosperity to the family in the New Year. Also, the first person to enter the home will influence the fortunes of the household, so children are usually encouraged to enter first.
An important tradition is the baking of Vassilopita, which is a sweet bread baked in the honour of St. Basil that is symbolic of the New Year since it contains a coin. The bread is usually sliced by the head of the home, and the family member who gets the coin is believed to have a lucky year ahead of them. Sometimes an extra place is set for St. Basil at the table.
As with all celebrations, it goes without saying that there’s good food and drink on the table, lots of lovely conversations and also plenty of laughter. We’re looking forward to it!