Greek New Year tradition celebrated at Monaco Yacht Club

The annual ceremony of cutting the vasilopita – the traditional Greek New Year’s cake – was held last week at the Yacht Club de Monaco with prominent members of the Hellenic Community of Monaco joining in on the celebrations.  

Cutting the vasilopita is an important start of the year in Greece and is done to pay tribute to Saint Basil. Usually cut by the senior member of the family, portions of the vasilopita are distributed amongst the household in a specific way. The first portion is, in more religious families, cut in remembrance of Jesus Christ, and the other portions are cut for the members of the family, including “the house” and “the poor”. A coin is baked into the cake for luck in the year ahead.   

On 22nd January, the Hellenic Community of Greece gathered at the Yacht Club of Monaco to carry out this time-honoured tradition as well as to recap the past year and talk of plans for the future.  

Members, along with their families, listened as the president of the association, Sophia Vaharis Tsouvelekakis, presented her annual report, which included the activities carried out in both the Principality and Greece, followed by the treasurer of the Hellenic Community, Dr. Panagiotis Kyriazis, who presented the financial statement for 2022.  

Also on hand were Ambassador of France to Monaco Laurent Stefanini, Minister of State Pierre Dartout with his wife Helen, Archbishop of Monaco Dominique-Marie David, Metropolitan of France Dimitrios Ploumis, and Honorary General Consul of Greece to Monaco Petros Machas. 

The leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in France, Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, was awarded an honorary distinction for his great contribution to Christianity and the people in general. 

Candy sculptures were created for the event by French artist Laurence Jenkell, painted in Greek and Monegasque colours.  

Finally, the lucky coin winner was treated to a weekend at the Vathi Cove resort on the Greek island of Thasos.  


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Photo supplied by the Hellenic Community of Monaco