Dräikinneksdag: celebrating Epiphany with a cake

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) - a traditional pastry with frangipane. But there is more to it - a little surprise is hidden inside the cake.

King or Queen for a day

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, a Dräikinnekskuch is served in many households. It is made with puff pastry traditionally filled with frangipane, although chocolate, apple and even meat variants exist. To create your own cake, follow our delicious recipe provided by Luxembourg food blogger Merlanne.

According to tradition, a bean is hidden inside the cake. Whoever gets the slice containing the bean becomes the king or queen of the day. As such, they have the right to wear the crown, that is associated with the cake. It is very often made of gilded cardboard and purchased with the cake, when you buy it at a local bakery. 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. Traditionally, these were religious figures, but today there is no limit to the imagination.

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