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King Cake



From the moment you arrive, you’re invited to immerse yourself in local New Orleans culture. Nothing captures that taste better than a King Cake.

Mardi Gras season begins on January 6 of each year and ends on Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent. One of the wonderful traditions of Mardi Gras, and probably the most delicious, is the King Cake.

On the Christian calendar, the 12th day after Christmas is celebrated as the date that the gift‐bearing Magi visited the baby Jesus. This day, January 6, is known by several names, including Epiphany, Twelfth Night, or King's Day. The celebration of this event evolved over the centuries, with each culture adding its own unique rituals. The New Orleans tradition borrows heavily from European influences and is believed to have roots in the 1870s. As part of this celebration, it is now traditional to bake a cake in honor of the three kings – the King Cake.

King Cakes are oval shaped to symbolize the unity of faiths, and each cake is decorated in the traditional Mardi Gras colors. Purple represents justice, green represents faith, and gold represents power. A small baby, symbolizing the baby Jesus, is traditionally hidden inside each King Cake. In New Orleans, King Cake parties are held throughout the Mardi Gras season. In offices, classrooms and homes throughout the city, King Cakes are sliced and enjoyed by all. Like in the Biblical story, the search for the baby adds excitement, as each person waits to see in which slice of cake the baby will be discovered. While tradition says the person who finds the baby is rewarded with good luck, that person is also responsible for bringing the King Cake to the next party or gathering.

A traditional King Cake is made from twisted strands of cinnamon dough, covered by poured sugar and sprinkled with purple, green and gold colored sugar. Today, many additional varieties of King Cake are also available by adding cream cheese or other fillings to the traditional King Cake. 

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