Welcome to February 16th on the National Day Calendar.
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is a day for feasting before Lent. While many foods are synonymous with this feast, one of the oldest traditional foods is king cake.
If you’ve ever tried a king cake, you know that there’s a prize baked inside: a tiny plastic baby. This odd custom began as a way to choose the king or queen of Mardi Gras celebrations.
For years, the item baked into the cake was a crowned kings head, which symbolized the three kings who had visited the baby Jesus with gifts. However, this became a problem during the French Revolution. The monarchy saw the heads as a thinly veiled threat. And since royalty had become less popular, commoners were all too happy to make the change.
When the tradition of adding a baby toy to king cakes came to New Orleans, porcelain figures were used. That is until a baker ran out and needed a replacement. He found a plastic version and that is the standard to this day.
On Fat Tuesday, celebrate with your favorite feast and enjoy the last hurrah before Lent.
Today we also celebrate National Almond Day, National Do A Grouch A Favor Day, National Pancake Day- IHOP, Fastnacht Day, and Paczki Day.