Be king for the day in France, leave hay for camels in Spain or let women have a day of rest in Ireland. It all happens around the world on January 6, 2010. Three Kings Day, also known as Epiphany, is a Christian feast that falls on the last day of the twelve days of Christmas and marks the beginning of Mardi Gras, a time of revelry and merrymaking. Peoplearound the world will celebrate this historic tradition with a King Cake, a symbol of the Mardi Gras tradition of celebration, hospitality and generosity. The King Cake is a doughy, oval shaped cake typically decorated with yellow, purple and green fruit; Mardi Gras colors that symbolize faith, power and justice. With a tiny toy baby baked inside, tradition says that the person, whose piece of cake contains the baby, provides the King Cake for the next party. Around the world, other countries are taking part in King’s Day with their own traditional customs and festivities. See how they plan to celebrate on this historic day:
* Mexico and Spain — Traditionally, children leave their shoes, a letter, snacks and sweet wine for the Three Kings and hay for camels under the Christmas tree. After the King Cake is eaten, whoever discovers the baby baked inside the cake must host a party in February with tamales and atole (warm drink).
* France — The lucky person to find the baby in the cake wins the honor to be King (or Queen) for the day.
* Ireland — King’s Day is also known as “Little Christmas” or “Women’s Christmas,” when Irish men take on all the household duties for the day and give their spouses a day off. Most women hold parties and celebrate with their mothers, sisters, friends, etc. This day closely resembles Mother’s Day.
* Netherlands and Belgium — Children in groups of three proceed in costume from house to house while singing songs indicative of the occasion, and receive a coin or sweets at each door.
* U.S.A. — Louisiana and Galveston Island are the most common places in the United States that celebrate King’s Day to kick off the revelry of Mardi Gras festivities.
Galveston Island began celebrating Mardi Gras in 1867, and the now 99-year tradition will once again take placeFebruary 5-16, 2010. More than 200,000 people attend Mardi Gras Galveston each year to experience the party of a lifetime as the island comes alive with 10 extravagant parades, more than 50 galas and festive events including bead throwing, exhibits, live entertainment in local clubs and the best cuisine the Gulf Coast has to offer. The annual event is one of the most popular in Texas and is rich with laughter, celebration, and people watching — for the whole family to enjoy.
For more information about Mardi Gras Galveston 2010, visit