The "Fetes des rois," or Kings Day, is typically celebrated in France with a very specific type of dessert. This delicacy is known as "La Galette des Rois," which translates as "King's Cake." The Epiphany also marks the start of the Carnaval season. In addition to wearing costumes and dancing at parties, people play pranks too. Have you ever been to Brazil? They have some interesting traditions too! For example, they eat peanuts during this time of year in order to bring good luck for the next 12 months.
French people celebrate the Epiphany on January 6th. It is a public holiday so we will see all our friends again after a long winter's break.
During the Middle Ages, eating meat on Fridays was forbidden because it was believed that doing so would make you ill-equipped to deal with physical pain such as that caused by work. So Catholics ate meat on other days of the week instead. Nowadays, many people choose to follow this practice. However, others prefer to go without for the entire weekend.
Kings Day, commonly known as the Epiphany, is celebrated on January 6th. It's the day the Three Kings are reported to have given Jesus their gifts. Kings' Day is known as Le jour des rois or La fête des rois in France. They consume Galette des Rois, or Kings Cake, in celebration of this day.
In France, everyone gets a week off work, which starts on New Year's Eve (December 31st) and ends on Kings Day (January 6th). Some people call this "the French Christmas vacation." It's a popular time for weddings since everyone has time to plan their events.
Galettes are one of the traditional foods served on Kings Day. There are two types of galettes: sweet and savory. Sweet galettes are often shaped like stars, with a filling of fruit or chocolate. Savory galettes are usually made with cheese or mushrooms as the main ingredient. Everyone loves eating these delicious pastries on January 6th or during the rest of the year too!
French people celebrate this holiday by opening their homes to visitors. If you're looking for a place to stay in France during Kings Day, consider calling up some friends and having a party at your house! You can invite all your family members and friends - even if they aren't French speakers - and give them all a chance to speak English while you practice your French together.
The French King Cake, or La Galette des Rois. It's a Christmas cake shaped like a king with his crown, robes, and sceptre baked into it. The word "king" adds a royal touch to this traditional French Christmas treat.
It may sound odd but the French love their kings and queens at Christmas time. And what could be more festive than a cake decorated in the shape of a king? This is why they call it "Le Roy en Paix et Bon Appétit". (The King in Peace and Good Eating.)
Although it is traditionally made for Christmas, you can find French King Cakes any time of year but they are especially popular around Christmastime. Some people even eat them during Easter week!
In France, when someone has the courage to cut the cake, they always say "Ça n'est pas le roi!" which means "This isn't the king!". Even if it looks like him, it isn't him up on the plate!
People sometimes ask me how I know it is safe to eat.
The celebration of the visit of the Three Kings to the newborn Jesus 12 days following Christmas is known as Epiphany. In France, the official date is January 6, which falls on a Monday this year (tomorrow). However, the galette des rois is often eaten on the first Sunday of January, or the closest Sunday to the Feast of the Three Kings.
In addition to eating the traditional galette des rois, many French people like to dress up and go out for an Epiphany party.
Christmas is a public holiday in France, so employees don't have to take vacation time nor change their schedules. But most companies do require that they be present at work on Epiphany, unless they have special arrangements with their staff member who will be taking charge of the company during the holidays.
Also on this day, French people wear red underwear to show their support for the blood of Christ. The custom dates back to 1866 when a Paris newspaper published an article suggesting that women should wear red undergarments to honor the blood of Christ. Since then, it has become an annual event on Epiphany.
Finally, French people give gifts called "cadeaux" (candy canes) to one another. The practice began in 1731 when King Louis XVIII gave candy canes to French children. Today, families exchange cadeaux before Christmas and Easter.
The Galette des Rois is a traditional manner for the French to commemorate the advent of the Three Wise Men on the Feast of the Three Kings (Magi). Every January 6th, people assemble to "tirer les rois," which translates as "find the kings." They do this by eating the galette which contains seeds that are supposed to bring good luck for the next year.
The cake itself is made of an old bread dough filled with dried fruit, nuts, and spices. It is usually decorated with sugar flowers or stars and colored icing. In addition to being worn by men during the Mardi Gras celebrations, the king's ring is also used as a prize in local contests where people try to eat the most sweets in a certain amount of time. The winner is usually given gifts such as cars or household items as prizes.
In France, the cake takes on a special meaning on Epiphany, when children wear their best clothes to church to watch the triumvirate of the Magi crown the baby Jesus. At the end of the ceremony, they receive gifts from the crowd: fruits, nuts, and cookies. This reminds them that they too should give something back at the end of each day - even if it's just a few moments of happiness - to not waste what we have was one of his teachings.
Nowadays, the cake has become more commercial than before.