On the 1st of January, Cypriot families gather together to share a delicious sponge cake that is called Vasilopita or Saint Basil's Pie. This sweet homemade pastry is usually flavoured with local oranges and brandy. "New Year" or the number of the year should be written on top of it with almonds or white cream.
Great traditions always accompany the sharing of Vasilopita. First of all, the head of the family blesses the cake and cuts it into pieces. The first two slices are put aside for the church and the poor. Then pieces are served to one's family and guests, starting with the head of the family, his wife, and then following a descending age order.
Such tradition not only blesses everyone with a good and happy year but also marks one with great luck. A silver or gold coin is put inside the cake while cooking, so whoever finds it is believed to have great luck.