All about Mardi Gras... in New Orleans
Carnival season in New Orleans begins the Twelfth Night after Christmas, on January 6 each year. In Christian tradition, Twelfth Night is known as the Feast of the Epiphany, and celebrates the coming of the wise men bearing gifts to the Christ Child. It represents a time of feasting and fun. The popular custom of baking a special cake in honor of the three kings has taken place throughout the years, thus the creation of a “King’s Cake.”
King Cakes are a vibrant part of the Mardi Gras tradition in New Orleans, and over the years, the cake’s decorations have become more and more festive. At first, the cake remained just a simple ring of dough with light decoration. The basic king cake has grown to become a braided dough with colored frosting and sprinkles of purple, gold, and green — the traditional colors of Mardi Gras, meaning justice (purple), power (gold), and faith (green).
Each cake comes with a small plastic, pink baby inside. According to custom, whoever cuts the slice of cake that has the baby in it is king for the day — and also has to purchase the next king cake.
Of course, if you are in the French Quarter, you’ll want to indulge in the world-famous beignets at Cafe Du Monde.
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