What is Epiphany and Galette des Rois (Pithivier King's cake)?
Epiphany is a Christian celebration of the three Kings who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. In the Latin Church, the adoration of Jesus by the three wise men gradually became the main object of the feast of the Epiphany. From the 5th century on, the Western Church celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th (Christmas) as well as the day he manifests to the world by way of the 3 wise men, when they visited him on January 6th.
The 3 Wise Men
The wise men are said to be 3 Magi kings: Melchior, Gaspard and Balthazar, these names were given to them in the 6th century. The number 3 is very symbolic and is said to symbolize the 3 continents: Asia, Africa and Europe (which were the only ones known at the time).
Melchior is presented with a long beard and is the oldest of the three. He offered gold. Gaspar is the youngest of the three and he gave the incense. Balthazar is bearded without being old and he made the myrrh offering.
La Gallette des Rois
In France, we have a tradition to celebrate Epiphany by sharing a cake called Gallette des Rois. In the north of France, as well as at VANIYE, the cake in the form of a puff pastry very filled with frangipane. The round, flat, golden-colored cake represents the sun and symbolizes the return of light after the long winter nights.
How to share the cake?
A lucky charm is hidden inside the Galette and the person who gets the piece becomes “King” for the day and wears the golden crown as a symbol of royalty.
This delicious old tradition to share the cake from the 6th to the end of January with family, friends, colleagues at work, etc. Any gathering is an opportunity to share Galette des Rois.
To serve the galette, the youngest person gets under the table while another person cuts the cake. The person under the table gets to call out a name and instructs who each piece is for, so there's no cheating!
Enjoy a VANIYE Galette with your family and friends!