Around the 6th January is known as the Epihanny, (this is when baby Jesus is baptized. And when the wise men are said to have brought their gifts) many Catholics celebrate this auspicious occasion. There may be a mass or special celebrations. In France, people share one of two types of king cake for Epihanny. In the northern half of France and Belgium, the cake is called a galette des Rois. It is a round, flat, and golden cake made with flake pastry and often filled with frangipane, fruit, or chocolate.

In the south, particularly in Provence and the southwest, a crown-shaped cake or brioche filled with fruit called a gâteau des Rois is eaten. The cake is traditionally cut by the youngest (and therefore most innocent) person at the table. This is to ensure that the recipient of the bean is chosen randomly. The person who finds the trinket in their piece of cake becomes the “king” or “queen” and gets to wear a paper crown that comes with the cake. This tradition adds excitement and joy to the celebrations.

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