The Vasilopitta (Greek Βασιλόπιττα meaning Basil's pie) is a Greek sweet bread. By tradition in Greece, especially among those of Anatolian ancestry, it is cut on January 1, the feast day of Saint Basil.
The pie (actually a sweet bread) is similar to the tsoureki of Easter time, though a bit spicier as machlep and mastic can also be used. It is made with flour, eggs, butter, sugar, yeast, etc., kneaded and allowed to rise. Roasted almonds are also used to make designs e.g. to spell out the new year. The vasilopitta is then baked with a coin hidden in the dough. When the pie is cut and distributed among the members of the household, the person who gets the slice with the coin will have good luck for the new year. Some people also cut a piece for the household as a whole, Saint Basil, the Virgin Mary, etc.
This tradition originates from a legend that, in Byzantine times, citizens once contributed gold to their emperor to buy off invading forces about to besiege Constantinople. When the siege did not take place, the emperor was at a loss as to how to redistribute the gold back to his people. Saint Basil then stepped up and suggested that the royal bakeries should make pies with coins in them and then sell (or donate) them to the common people. Thus, the gold was redistributed.