[EPIPHANY]. What do we celebrate on Epiphany? From the importance of the Magi to the debate over the galette or the crown of kings, here is the whole history and traditions of this Christian holiday.
As every year, this Catholic holiday takes place on January 6, twelve days after the birth of Jesus Christ. But to celebrate it with the family, it is customary to celebrate it on another date, the 6th not always falling on a weekend and not being a public holiday. Moreover, religiously also, the offices of celebration of the Epiphany can take place the following Sunday. And more generally, the French are used to drawing kings throughout the first half of January.
Epiphany was established by the Church in the 4th century on January 6 to celebrate, shortly after the birth of Jesus, the recollection of the Magi around his cradle. Also note that the Epiphany takes place 12 days after Christmas . These 12 days also represent the difference between the lunar calendar and the solar calendar (A year makes 12 lunar months - knowing that a month then corresponds to the period between two new moons, i.e. 29.5 days for a total of 354 days. 12 days almost (one per month) to make the solar year).
Epiphany comes from the Latin Epiphania, which translates to 'appearance'. In the New Testament, the term 'Epiphany' is used to designate the advent of Christ and his reign, as well as his manifestation on earth.
It is a Christian holiday, established by the Church in the IV and century, with the aim of celebrating the arrival of the Magi come to adore the Messiah, that is to say the child Jesus, in his cradle. Coming from the East, They visit him and offer him gifts twelve days after his birth, the time to make the journey guided by a star. According to the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Melchior, an old man with white hair and a long beard offered gold signifying the Kingship of Christ. The second mage, Gaspard, a young man, offered incense to Jesus, homage to his divinity. Finally, Balthazar, a black man, offered myrrh which reminded us of the humanity of Jesus, and therefore that he had to die.
As is customary, the a king cake eaten on Epiphany Day . You have to go back to Roman times to understand the history of this dessert. During winter solstice celebrations, locals would eat a circle-shaped cake, believed to represent the sun.
Each pancake contained a bean. The person who won the latter was crowned as king or queen of the evening. While the bean inserted into the dessert was first a legume (the bean), it was later replaced by a gold coin, then by a porcelain bean in the 19th and century.
This Catholic holiday takes place every year on January 6, 12 days after the birth of Jesus Christ. But it is customary to celebrate the Epiphany on another date because it does not always fall on the weekend or on a public holiday. To bring the whole family together, some get together right after Christmas, or the following week. Know that the French have a habit of shooting kings during the whole first fortnight of January!
Epiphany is of course associated with the puff pastry galette stuffed with frangipane , but depending on the regions of France such as in the south or in Provence for example, we also taste the cake or the brioche of the kings, with candied fruits. Something to enjoy again after the end of year celebrations, but also to pay homage to a tradition firmly rooted in the country's culture.
It's hard to imagine Epiphany without its galette des rois. It is very easy to make and all the more tasty when it is homemade. Here's how to prepare it in 20 minutes: