Why Do We Eat King Cakes During Mardi Gras? (Besides the Fact That They’re Delicious)
We are in the thick of Mardi Gras season here in south Louisiana. There's already been a ton of Mardi Gras balls and the chicken runs and parades will commence in a matter of days.
For a lot of us, the happiest part of the season is scarfing down on those delicious and decedant treats known as King Cakes.
Sometimes when I have friends visiting from out-of-town I have to stop and think when they ask the question, "Why do y'all make these?"
Our friends from Rickey Meche's Donut King dropped over a king cake yesterday and in it there was a flyer explaining the tradition of king cakes. It does a great job of summarizing the origin of these tasty delights.
The Mardi Gras season officially begins on the Twelfth Night of Christmas, or January 6th known as the Epiphany - or Little Christmas. Since the third century the Epiphany has been observed as the day the Three Wise Men finally found the infant Jesus. King Cakes, therefore were initiated to celebrate this holy day and a small baby doll is placed in each cake as symbol of "Finding the Baby Jesus".
King Cakes are oval shaped and decorated in carnival colors of green, yellow and purple. As the cake is cut, each person looks to see if his piece contains the small baby. The person who finds the baby brings the next King Cake to the next celebration.
So there you go, a brief explanation as to why we eat King Cakes during the Mardi Gras season.