Life around the world

Saturday, 25 January, 2014 - 22:25

We three kings

by ClaireE

After all the excitement of Christmas and spending time with family I thought I had finished with the winter celebrations on my return to France.

However in the last couple of weeks we have had fun celebrating Epiphany. This is the time when we remember the Wise Men visiting Jesus, the arrival of the Kings presenting this little baby with their wonderful gifts. In England we recognise the event, just by marking the 6th of January. It is when we take down our Christmas decorations and the 12 days of Christmas end. However in France it’s a proper occasion!

So this year was the first time I’ve ever really celebrated it. Here it means eating special cakes called ‘Galettes’ or ‘Couronnes’ (the latter meaning ‘crowns’, the first not meaning anything really apparently, just a name used for lots of different food types) which are very yummy. Galettes are made of choux pastry and have different fillings like marzipan mixture, chocolate, apples etc. (not all together though). Couronnes are made of brioche and look like a crown – circular with a hole in the middle, coated in sugar making them look shiny and often with sugar crystals and dried fruits decorating them. Each cake has a paper crown on top of it. Inside each cake is a ‘fève’, literally meaning ‘bean,’ but nowadays they are china or plastic figurines, often little princes or princesses. The tradition is slightly different depending on who you are with but generally speaking,  if you are the one who finds the fève, you can keep it but you have to choose a king or queen to give the paper crown on top of the galette to! It’s good fun, the cakes are wonderful and each time somebody gets a crown their face lights up! You just have to be careful that each of the children manages to get a fève so nobody is disappointed…!

I hope you had a great Christmas. Happy New Year and Happy Epiphany! 

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Do you have any special celebrations on January 6th in your country? 

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