Saint Basil the Great of Caesarea was born in Caesarea in Cappadoccia in 330AD. Basil was born into a wealthy Greek family, his father having family connections in Pontus. Basil was known for giving away all his possessions to the poor, underprivileged and to children. In Greek tradition he brings gifts to children on January 1 (St. Basil's Day).

The Vasilopita, a sweet bread with a coin hidden inside it, was also named after St. Basil and is consumed on January 1. The two Christian saints identified with Christmas are Saint Nicholas of Myra (western Santa Claus) and Saint Basil (eastern Santa Claus).




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