On January 6th in Luxembourg and in many other countries, you can taste the traditional king cake to celebrate Epiphany or Dräikinneksdag (Three Kings Day) in luxembourgish.
Epiphany is a Christian celebration that takes place every year after Christmas celebrations on the 6th of january. It is the symbol of the Three Kings’ visit to Jesus after his birth in Bethleem. In Luxembourg, Epiphany is not a public holiday unlike other European countries. In Spain, Epiphany corresponds to the day when children receive gifts, such as Saint Nicholas Day in Luxembourg or Christmas in other Christian countries. However, the cake eaten on this occasion, called king cake or “Galette des Rois”, would be rather of pagan origin, celebrating the return of the light with the days that lengthen from end of december.
A charm is hidden in the king cake which is often made with puff pastry and frangipane (kind of almond cream). The charm was originally a broad bean as a symbol of revival. This vegetable is now replaced by a ceramic figurine, representating a specific character or object. There are all kinds of charms: they make charm collectors happy.
When bought in bakeries or shops, the king cake is sold with a golden cardboard crown. The king cake is traditionally eaten in family on Epiphany. The youngest member of the family goes under the table to randomly assign each piece of cake to those who are around the table. Whoever finds the charm in his/her piece of cake is entitled to the crown and becomes the king or queen of the day!
Learn more about traditions in Luxembourg.