Even though we no longer live in Louisiana, the Cruise Diva household still celebrates Mardi Gras with the traditional "king cake," which takes its name from the biblical three kings. In Catholic liturgical tradition, the Solemnity of Epiphany, commemorated on January 6th, celebrates the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child. The Eve of Epiphany (the night of January 5th) is popularly known as Twelfth Night (the Twelve Days of Christmas are counted from Christmas Eve until this night). The season for king cake extends from the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Twelfth Night and Epiphany Day), up until Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday"—the day before the start of Lent (this year—today!). Some friends and neighbors may have "king cake parties" every week through the Carnival season as we did in Louisiana. Our cake pictured here is the centerpiece of the beads, or "throws," we collected during many parades in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Each king cake should have a trinket, either a plastic "baby" or a bean inserted within it. The person who gets the slice of cake containing the trinket is declared the King or Queen of the party and is obligated to host the next party and supply the next king cake.
It's great fun and we're happy to share our annual celebration with you this year.