King Cakes originated in Europe as a celebratory food of the Feast of Epiphany or Twelfth Night Celebration which is January 6 (12 nights after Christmas). King Cake season extends from January 6 to Mardi Gras (which is the day before Ash Wednesday – February 22, 2023).
The cake represents the story of the three Wise Men who traveled to celebrate Christ’s birth and contains a bean, a trinket, or a plastic baby that represents the Christ child, the newborn King. The cake is oval or round representing the course that the Wise Men took because, to avoid King Herod, they did not return home the same way they came when looking for the Christ child. The cake is iced and decorated with sugar sparkles in green (to represent faith), purple (justice), and yellow (power). Read the story of the Wise Men’s visit in the book of Matthew, Chapter 2.
The tradition of blessing a home during the season of Epiphany uses chalk to write 20+C+M+B+22 at the home’s entrance. The 20 and 22 represent the year 2022. The C, M, and B have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also abbreviate the Latin words
Christus mansionem benedicat,
“May Christ bless this house.”