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The King's Cake

A King's Cake is shaped like a crown to represent the three kings who are celebrated by the twelve days of Christmas, starting December 26th. This celebration is called the Epiphany or Twelfth Night, and is a time of exchanging gifts and feasting. The most popular custom is the baking of a special cake in honor of the three kings..."a King's Cake." The King's Cake originated as a symbol of the three Kings visit to the Christ child on the Feast of Epiphany, January 6th, the Twelfth Day of Christmas. Served with a bean baked inside the cake, whoever got the bean became King for that day. The person receiving the bean must portray one of the three kings. The idea for perpetuating the celebration is by having the person who received the bean continues the festivities with another party and another cake the next day. King's Cake Parties continue until the first day of Lent, ending on Fat Tuesday... Mardi Gras Day! The King's Cake is believed to have been brought to New Orleans, from France in the 1870's. It evolved from the Twelfth Night or Epiphany pastry made by those early settlers. They added their own touches with the Spanish custom of choosing Twelfth Night royalty. Starting around the 1930s, a tiny naked baby was used instead of the bean or pea. The baby can be pink, brown, or golden. The baby represents the baby Jesus because the Twelfth Night was when the three kings found the baby in Bethlehem. It is said that a year of good fortune awaits the lucky person who gets the figure. Some Mardi Gras Krewes use the King's Cake to get the year's King and Queen. Whoever finds the baby on the Feast of Epiphany is the King of the Mardi Gras, others use it for the Ugly King and Queen. King's Cakes were originally a simple ring of dough with little decorations. They are now in three Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold to honor the three kings who visited the Christ child on Epiphany. In the early 1970's, pastry shops began filling the King's Cakes with an assortment of Fruits and Cream Cheese, then topping them with the brightly colored Mardi Gras sugars and sliced almonds... thus beginning a new tradition of the Mardi Gras King Cake. Now there is the choice of the Traditional Cinnamon King's Cake, or an Exotic, Deliciously Filled King Cake, and all have the baby inside!

   Mystic Krewe of Aquarius
1311 Winnie
Galveston, Texas 77550

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