A Uniquely New Orleans Tradition
A King Cake is an oval-shaped bakery delicacy, crossed between a coffee cake and a French pastry, that is as rich in history as it is in flavor. It’s decorated in royal colors of Purple, which signifies “Justice,” Green for “Faith” and Gold for “Power.” These colors were to resemble a jeweled crown honoring the Wise Men who visited the Christ Child on Epiphany. The King Cake tradition is thought to have been brought to New Orleans from France in 1870.
King’s Day & the King Cake Baby
The Mardi Gras or Carnival season officially begins on January 6th or the “Twelfth Night,” also known to Christians as the “Epiphany.” Epiphany comes from a Greek word that means “to show.” Bethlehem is where infant Jesus first showed himself to the world. As a symbol of this Holy Day, a tiny plastic baby is placed inside each King Cake. In the past, such things as coins, beans, pecans or peas were hidden inside each King Cake. The person who finds the baby is named King for a day and bound by custom to host the next party and provide the King Cake.
An observer once said that New Orleanians are either having
a party, recuperating from a party or planning a party. The biggest and best
party of all and the city’s most famous celebration is Mardi Gras, the greatest
free show on Earth.
Mardi Gras dates back to 1837 when the first street parade
took place. The carnival season begins January 6th, 12 days after Christmas
on the “The Twelfth Night,” with the first of nearly 100 private masked balls.
The dazzling Mardi Gras parades feature marching bands and elaborate papier-mâché
floats with masked riders tossing trinkets, beads and doubloons to the crowd.
Carnival season brings the height of demand for King Cakes, but some people eat them all year round. No Mardi Gras season would be complete without a Randazzo’s Camellia City Bakery King Cake. Treat yourself or surprise someone with one of our fresh and delicious King Cakes baked daily.
Mardi Gras Day
On Mardi Gras Day, the day before Ash Wednesday, the largest and longest parades are held. Rex, King of Carnival, is a prominent businessman, chosen by the committee. His queen is always a debutante of the current season. On Mardi Gras Day, everyone joins in the costuming, young and old alike, resident and tourist.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Let the good times roll!