January 6 officially marks the end of the Christmas celebrations. You should take down all your Holiday decorations by this date.
Epiphany is referred to as Three Kings Day for commemorating the visit of Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, the three Magi.
But really, everyone can host an Epiphany party since beside its origin no religious ceremony is involved on the celebrations as I know it. And the Three Kings Day customs are fun and simple!
What is a traditional Three Kings Day party?
To make a story short, the tradition goes like that. You host a feast and serve a cake for dessert with a hidden dried bean inside a King cake or the Galette des Rois (puff pastry with an almond paste). You served a piece of cake to everyone. The person who found the Bean is elected King or Queen for the day. The custom implies giving a gift and a head crown to the winner. The winner elects his Queen or her King.
I recalled when I was a kid, I looked forward for Epiphany. I was either invited to a party or my mother would throw a party with my friends and cousins. It is not just for kids, the event has been popular with adults for centuries. I encourage you to have one this Sunday.
The dried bean has been replaced by porcelain trinket for practical reason. Also, the winner can keep it as a souvenir. The trinket can be whatever you like although a small human sculpture is more typical.
I searched pictures on Flickr and on the blogosphere for samples of Galette des Rois and King Cake. In Provence, they eat a large round bun filled with candied fruits. They are all delicious with a coffee or a tea.
Hyperky on Flickr
The first picture was taken by hyperky. I selected this one from her Galette des Rois set because this picture illustrated everything you need for your Epiphany party. I enjoy the lighting effects on that picture.
I invite you to check the rest of her fabulous food related pictures. If the pictures of hyperky do not inspire you to cook more, I do not know what will.
If you are looking for a recipe, I find a Puff Pastry Tart Filled with Almond Cream recipe on Epicurious. Read the comments of the reviewers to decide how to make one to your liking.
Portuguese make a Bolo Rei, the Portuguese adaptation of the Provencal candied fruits bun. This colorful Bolo Rei was made by Eddie of the attractive Algarve Buzz blog. Candied fruit cakes are not my favorite cake typically and neither Eddie. So she got creative and switched the candied fruit for cranberries, chocolate and almonds, to suit her taste. I think it is a worthy lesson.
You can read more about the traditions of Epiphany in Portugal and the Bolo Rei cake on her blog. Algarve Buzz is a blog where you can discover incredible food, wine, scores of festivals, nightlife and the heat of the Algarve region.
foéÖþoooey on Flickr
Then, I spotlighted the third attempt of making a Galette des Rois by a single guy from Seattle that seems to enjoy cooking. In his opinion, this recipe is about as close to heaven as pastry can get. The pictures taken by foéÖþoooey surely look inviting for a French pastry lover like me.
Check out the book titled from the book The Food of France, a Journey for Food Lovers for the Pithiviers or Galette des rois recipe.
You can host a Three Days King event at any time of the day since the piece of resistance, the dessert can be eaten from morning to night. So why not having an Epiphany brunch for a change?
Top Left picture: Fève du matin ( Galette des rois ) taken by hyperkya – 2008 copyright photo used with the permission of hyperkya
Top Right picture: Puff Pastry Tart Filled with Almond Cream Recipe at Epicurious.com – photo by Romulo Yanes
Bottom Left picture: Bolo Rei – Portuguese Christmas Cake published on Algarve Buzz – copyright photo
Bottom Right picture: Pithiviers or Galette des Rois, Third Attempt taken by foéÖþoooey – copyright photo
Buy online: The Food of France, a Journey for Food Lovers at Amazon.com