The History of the cake, la galette des rois
As every year, the school Inflexyon celebrates the “galette des rois” with foreign students, a good way to step into the French culture.
The galette is mostly celebrated today in France for its gourmet aspect but also its history.
The galette is traditionally celebrated on the day of the Epiphany in the Christian tradition.
This holiday celebrates the child Jesus revealed to the three Kings Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar.
Today, we always celebrate the kings by eating the galette with family and friends. Back in the thirteenth and fourteenth century : a charm was hidden in the cake, the person who found it was declared king or queen of the day and wore a golden cardboard crown on their head. Later on, the charms were replaced by gold or silver coins. Today, they are small porcelain figurines or mini ceramic figurines. Many French people are accustomed to collecting the charms, a museum even opened, exposing thousands of them.
In France, the Epiphany is not a bank holiday like in other countries, but that day remains in the hearts of the French for its religious origin, but also to taste the best flavors of the galette freshly out of the oven as well as the opportunity to spend time with loved ones.
This festival is traditionally celebrated on January 6th, 12 days after the birth of Jesus but it was postponed to the second Sunday after Christmas. However, most French people eat cake during the whole month of January.
The tradition of the galette des Rois is that the youngest person sits under the table and calls out the name of a person for each piece of galette, thus giving everyone the chance to have the charm and wear the crown.
Ready, set, eat !