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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Laz

Three Kings

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

Christmas is celebrated throughout the world but traditions and even dates can vary wildly. In France, Christmas Eve is far more significant than Christmas Day. Food like fruits de mer, canapés and champagne are de rigueur, and Messe de Minuit if you can make it to church. Christmas Day is also celebrated but in quieter fashion, visiting grand-parents, with dinde aux marrons and bûche on the menu, and presents.

However, there's a tradition in France which doesn't take place in the UK. It is the Epiphany, when the Three Kings or Magi, also known as the The Wise Men arrive in Bethlehem to visit baby Jesus. To celebrate the event, we eat a frangipane pie with a charm hidden inside. The person who finds it, keeps it secret, and throw it at the last minute in the glass of the person elected to be king. A gold crown made of card is placed on the head of the chosen one. He or She can be King or Queen for the day, with all the privileges it entails.

I love this tradition,even thought the pie is butter-rich. You can buy one at Maison Blanc who makes them for the occasion. However, they will sell it with a charm kept separate from the pie and you'll have to hide it yourself. Why? Because the Brits complain about the risk of breaking their teeth. Good old health and safety.

Bonne fête des Rois!

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