Dräikinneksdag Three Kings Day and a cake with a bean

On 6th January, it's the Feast of the Epiphany. In Luxembourg, it is known  as Dräikinneksdag, which literally means 'Three Kings Day'. On this occasion, people in Luxembourg eat a Dräikinnekskuch (Three Kings cake or King cake) - a traditional pastry with frangipane. But there is more to it - a little surprise is hidden inside the cake.

À la recherche de la fève

The Feast of the Epiphany is a Christian feast to celebrate the arrival of the three wise men, Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar, who came to see baby Jesus. According to the Gospel of Matthew, the three kings followed the star from Bethlehem to the birthplace of Jesus to give him gold, frankincense and myrrh.

On this occasion, the Dräikinnekskuch (Three Kings cake or Kings cake) is eaten. It is made with puff pastry traditionally filled with frangipane, although chocolate, apple and even meat variants exist.

According to tradition, a bean is hidden inside the cake, and whoever gets the slice containing the bean becomes the king of the day and can wear a crown, often made of gilded cardboard. Naturally, the inquisitive follow with great interest the slicing of the cake to spot the bean.

Be careful by the way – these days, the beans usually come in the form of porcelain figurines. Fans who are too eager might damage their teeth.

A King's Cake with a felt crown.
© Claudine Freylinger

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