Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Something for Three King's Day ~ Iets voor Driekoningen

"Lucky Charms for the 'Galette des Rois' "
photo copyright 2009, Judith Nijholt-Strong

Today is the feast of The Three Kings. In Holland and the Flemmish parts of Belgium, it is known as Driekoningen (3 kings). In France (and other French heritage parts of the world) it is known as "Fête des Rois"(feast of the kings). Spanish countries/cultures call this day "Los Reyes Magos" (the magi kings) and in English cultures (US, Canada, UK, etc.), it is known as Epiphany. This day, January 6th, marks the end of the Christmas season in the Christian calendar and is believed to be the day the Three Kings arrived in Bethlehem to give their gifts to the baby Jesus. Many Christian cultures, throughout the world, still reserve this day as the day for giving gifts to each other.

In France, on this day, a special cake is eaten – the "Galette des Rois" (Cake of the Kings). Inside the cake are hidden small charms to be found in your piece of cake and the luckiest of all to find is the baby Jesus. Pictured above is my collection of these little treasures, most of which I bought this past summer at a flea-market in Montivilliers, France.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them since I won’t be baking a Galette des Rois today (and I have far too many for just one cake) ... but I just had to have them. Some of the charms are very old and others very new. Many seem to be not very traditional in their motifs ( i.e., the cat or the Tabac (tobacco) shop seller) and not all are made of porcelain, but I find them all simply delightful. There was even little old bits of cake left on some of the oldest ones! :D

Maybe some of them will find their way into one of my mixed media sculptures, or maybe they’ll be the subjects of a painting or a drawing. I never know what might inspire me, but I have many different collections of small treasures ... this is just one more. Heh heh!

Happy Driekoningen!
(heh heh, that's what I call "Dinglish" :D )

In case you're interested:
Last year's post about Driekoningen...with a little more info

Tot ziens,


Alison said...

Ah! I guess that's the basis for the famous king cake (with the little baby trinket inside) that is so well-known in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I didn't realize it had its start as an Epiphany dessert.

J. Nijholt-Strong said...

yep, according ot one of my cookbooks (American) that's where the King Cake for Mardi Gras originally comes from.

Hey, you're also a Floridian and in Utrecht! I looked at your blog! cool! :o)


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