Is tonight, â€œthe eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymakingâ€
Epiphany in France:
A special cake eaten on or around January 6, called the â€˜galette des Rois,â€™ is well known in France and celebrates the arrival of the three kings in the Bethlehem stable. There are three different styles of the cake dependent on the area in France. In the north, puff pastry and almond filling; the southâ€™s â€˜gÃ¢teau des Roisâ€™ is a circular brioche decorated with candied fruit, and western France has a sweetened shortcrust, rather than puff pastry.
Both galette and gÃ¢teau are widely available â€“ and even variants with chocolate, apple purÃ©e and nuts. All come with a cardboard crown and a â€œfÃ¨veâ€, which traditionally used to be a bean before trinkets were introduced, often in the form of a baby Jesus, but today it is just as likely to be a blue plastic â€œSchtroumpfâ€ (Smurf). The cake is eaten with friends, family and colleagues.
The person who finds the fÃ¨ve is crowned king or queen for the day â€“ and may have to buy next yearâ€™s cake.
Time to get the Chrismas decorations down for another year!