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Epiphany – A little History.

Galette des rois

Happy New Year

It was devoured in the first days of January. The Galette Des Rois is expected by all gourmets. But what is its origin? What does the 'bean' (hidden prize) represent? And most importantly, when do we eat it? We prefer the cake with frangipane or crown brioche with candied fruit, January is the month of the Galette. But what are the symbols behind it? Where does this tradition from? And what of the 'bean' (hidden prize)?

The sharing of the cake has nothing to do with religion. It was part of the celebrations around the winter solstice, suitable for divinations. Christians eat it during the Epiphany and the celebration of the Three Kings.

The 'bean' is one of the symbols of the winter solstice. This is the first vegetable that grows in the spring. "Size matters too. The bean-vegetable is flat and not too big – so it can be dissimulated- nor too small - for it should not be swallowed. In addition, everyone had some at home."

Until the 1960s, the Epiphany was a holiday which fell on January 6. The sharing of the cake was often celebrated the 5 evening. But the Vatican II (1962-1965) decided that the Epiphany is celebrated on the first Sunday following January 1st. However, many countries have retained the original date of January 6, such as Poland. In fact, it is the sharing of the cake that is traditional. And it is done several times in a month!

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