Old 01-06-2008, 09:02 AM
Frances's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Allschwil, Switzerland
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Default Three Kings' Day

Does anyone else celebrate this, or is it a Swiss thing?

On January the 6th, when the three Kings (or the three wise men) are supposed to have turned up, everyone in Switzerland buys or makes a Three Kings' Cake and a crown, which looks more or less like this:


One of the pieces of bread contains a little king figure, and the person who chooses the right bit gets to be King or Queen for a day. This year I'm the Queen, so the whole family has to do as I say.... (Ha! I should be so lucky!)

I would have posted a pic of our cake (its bread really, but its called a cake), only
a) I didn't bake it in the WFO, and
b) my family was too fast for me and ripped it appart before I could switch the camera on... But I've got one of my crown

So, have a very happy Three King's Day everyone!
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:52 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Fethiye Turkey
Posts: 265
Default Re: Three Kings' Day

Hi Frances..........happy Three Kings Day. This is a Christian celebration that I know as Epiphany or the 12th. Day of Christmas. This is the official end of Christmas and the decorations and tree will be taken down tonight. I believe there are quite big celebrations in the Catholic countries like Spain.


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Old 01-06-2008, 10:00 AM
Frances's Avatar
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Location: Allschwil, Switzerland
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Default Re: Three Kings' Day

Hi Inishta,
its funny how these traditions change in different countries, isn't it? I do know that traditions along the lines of finding the bean in your bread and being king for a day go back to pre-Christian times.

I also know that there's no way our decorations are going to be cleared away by tonight! We're sort of aiming to do it sometime before Easter...
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:44 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 4,216
Default Re: Three Kings' Day

Here's and article in today's regional Times about a formerly irish-american parish in Plainfield NJ that is now predominantly spanish speaking and about how important 3 kings has become.
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:18 AM
sarah h's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
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Default Re: Three Kings' Day

I know that New Orleans celebrates with something similar:

Also known as Twelfth Night Cake, the brioche-style King Cake is prepared in New Orleans bakeries for the period between the Twelfth Night (January 6) and Ash Wednesday.

The tradition is thought to have begun with French settlers, continuing a custom dating back to 12th century France, when a similar cake was used to celebrate the coming of the three wise men bearing gifts twelve days after Christmas, calling it the feast of Epiphany, Twelfth Night, or King's Day.

Though the cakes are baked in many shapes now, they were originally round in shape to portray the circular route taken by the Kings to confuse King Herod who was trying to follow the wise men so he could kill the Christ child.

The cakes usually contain a bean, pea, or a figurine symbolizing the baby Jesus.

In 1871 the tradition of choosing the queen of the Mardi Gras was determined by who drew the prize in the cake. It is definitely considered good luck to the person who gets the figure, and that person usually holds the next King Cake party.

The Rex Krewe, a Mardi Gras parade organization, chose the festival's symbolic colors, and since 1872 the colors have been used to tint the cake's icing. The colors of the King Cake are purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power.

Frances, it looks as if maybe the Swiss got this from the French and New Oreans got it from the French-Canadians (Acadians) ... which makes it odd that it's not celebrated in Quebec, as far as I know.

As with many "Christian" traditions, Inishta's right - many of them come from pre-Christian pagan traditions that were absorbed into Christianity as a way to negate paganism. Anyway, for me, January 6th is simply 'Dad's birthday' and my Christmas decorations have been put away for days.

Happy King's Day!

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Old 02-13-2008, 05:08 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: India
Posts: 7
Default Re: Three Kings' Day

hi, very informative Sarah ,thank you for knowing us lot .Indeed this was my first time to hear about kings day.
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