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September 2020
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Beads, Cakes, and Plastic Babies

Ok, anyone who knows about Mardi Gras probably knows that the three items in the title do actually go together. During Mardi Gras it is tradition to have a party and serve a King Cake. Rouses Supermarket sells their king cakes online and has the following quote about the history of king cakes.

The Mardi Gras season begins on January 6th, or Kings’ Day. This day, also referred to as the Epiphany or Twelfth Night, marks the meeting of the Three Wise Men and the infant Jesus. It has become tradition to celebrate Kings’ Day and the Mardi Gras season by sharing a delicious king cake. King cake is an oval-shaped cake that is made from gourmet cinnamon dough, iced, and decorated with sugars in the Carnival colors of purple (for justice), green (for faith), and gold (for power). A tiny, plastic baby representing the infant Jesus is inserted into the cake. Tradition holds that the person who gets the piece with the baby in it is obligated to bring a king cake to the next party. The Mardi Gras season comes to a close on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.

So I was driving around today and saw a billboard for Mardi Gras which reminded me of king cakes. I told my friend Jeff about them and explained how they insert a small plastic baby (sometimes explained to represent the baby Jesus). The person who finds the baby has different rewards or responsibilities. I was joking with Jeff that if we had one and he found the baby and choked on it and died, then his epitaph could read “Choked on the baby Jesus.” No blasphemy intended.

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