The year begins with St Basil's Mass. Even after New Year's Eve the holiday
continues for those named Vassil, Vassilka, Valcho, Vesselin, Vesselina. In Greek
the name means kingly (Basil) and is connected with Basil the Great, who was
born in Cappadocia around 300 a.d. and later became a saint. For his time, Basil
received the best education in rhetoric possible in pagan Greece. He traveled
across Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Mesopotamia where he met Christian hermits.
The wiser Basil returned to Athens and started an argument with his teacher Evul
about the essence of the new faith. In the end the pillar of Athens' rhetoricians
Evul confessed, "Through you I Believe in one Father God".
Later Basil became a hermit by the Iris River and began gathering around himself
newly converted Christians. He is also connected with the formation of monastery
complexes. The saint believed that it was better to have more preachers than
everybody to seclude themselves with their faith. On January Orthodox Church
celebrates St Basil's Mass.