Saint Basil's Day

Saint Basil's Day is observed next on Sunday, January 1st, 2023 (187 days from today).

How many days until Saint Basil's Day?

Saint

The origins

What is Saint Basil’s Day? Follow Orthodox Christians; 1 January is St. Basil’s Day, also called Basil of Caesarea, which commemorates Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia. St. Basil (c.329-379) was born in Caesarea. Basil came from a distinguished Cappadocian family who lived in a town of Caesarea. As bishop, he established charitable institutions to help the poor, the sick and travelers. He was known as a celebrity for brilliant intelligence, taken care the poor and given the rules of life.

Today Basil is a famous person with writings on the nature of God and monastic life. Besides, Saint Basil’s Day is remembered for the Liturgy of St.Basil.

Symbols and Customs

Gift Giving

According to folk tradition of Greek, January 1, is a day for gift giving, not Christmas. At present, Christmas holiday has played a bigger role in many households. St. Basil has transformed into a Santa Claus.  However, St. Basil’s day will be an important holiday with almost households in Greece.

Good luck Charms

The events taking place on St. Basil's Day are supposed to set the tone for the whole year. According to Greek folklore, a household's luck in the coming year depends on New Year's land breaker.  This person represents the fortunes of the family in the following year. Many families hope that New Year's land breaker is a strong, healthy. In this case, the family would be blessed with health and prosperity.

Others prefer to have an icon at first and are held in someone's outstretched arms. This is thought to bring spiritual blessings. As traditionally, householders are encouraged to welcome the first person to enter the house in the new year with coins and sweets. Some people insist that the person have to step through the threshold with his or her right foot in order to bring good luck.

Because the events on St. Basil's Day are so important, some superstitions advise people to think happy thoughts, to avoid crying and quarreling, and to eat well. Wearing new clothes will help to insure a good wardrobe in the year to come.

St. Basil's Water

Some Greek families perform a ceremony called the “renewal of the waters” on St.Basil’s Day.

Ship

The ship is a symbol of this day because folk tradition insists that Basil used this mode of transport to journey from Turkey, his ancestral homeland, to Greece. Those ships represent St.Basil’s journey across the Aegean Sea to bring gifts to Greek children. The children use the ships to collect the coins and sweets given to them by their neighbors.

Activities

In St. Basil’s Day, all families will set a feast table. The size of this feast is important. The bigger the feast, the more luck the family will have in the coming year. Especially, bread or St Basil’s Cake is a must-have. These cakes are round and there is a silver coin in its. Traditionally, anyone gets the coin will have good luck in New Year.

Observed

Saint Basil's Day has been observed annually on January 1st.

Dates

Friday, January 1st, 2021

Saturday, January 1st, 2022

Sunday, January 1st, 2023

Monday, January 1st, 2024

Wednesday, January 1st, 2025

Also on Sunday, January 1st, 2023

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