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The bakeries and stores have been selling for over a week now. L’Epiphany keep it high the galette des Rois tradition. Into Briehas been celebrated for centuries January 6 with all of them Catholics. Into orthodox communityis recorded in the date January 19. according toThe Gospel of Matthewof Magi they came Bethlehem to prayBaby Jesus, The King of Kings.
The tradition dates back to the 3rd centurye With Tertullian, a Latin author born in the 2nd centurye century The number three Magi came from Origen, a theologian and father of exegesis born in the second century.e century too. However, we must render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and offer food for thought on this occasion. The only criterion offered is given by the evangelist Matthew in chapter 2 verses 1 to 12. This “magi”, a word derived from the Greek word “Magoi” and meaning wise, is not a king. This royal idea would come only three centuries later. He is an invention. Their number is debatable, as modern theologians, biblical scholars, and exegetes have done in numerous analyses. The event itself is contested by some who believe it is only a symbolic account. Their names were invented only in the XIII centurye century, after which they are known as Gaspar, Balthazar and Melchior.
In the Bible
These visitors would be guided by a star to reach Bethlehem, the birthplace of Mary and Joseph of Nazareth. They were laden with gifts, the symbols of which were reminiscent of those who crowned kings then and now. Gold symbolizing the child’s kingship, incense for divinity in worship, and myrrh – a precious oil – for embalming the body to announce his death for the salvation of the world. These three gifts fully symbolize that Jesus is king, God and mortal in one person.
As we have seen, these three symbols are almost prophetic in nature, and it is surprising that the texts are not among the so-called “apocryphal” and not accepted as truth. The Evangelist Matthew is the only one who records this event.
Again, the modern galette des Rois commemorates this event. The galetta predates the time of Jesus and the Three Kings, as it is a Roman tradition and was celebrated in Brie in Roman territory in its time.
Roman tradition celebrated the god Saturn, and the festive season named Saturnalia allowed celebrations for all social classes, from the richest to the poorest. This very special day even allowed the slaves to share a cake with the Romans, and inside this cake was hidden a bean that would give whoever found it the right to be “king” and do whatever they wanted for the whole day.
Already at that time, in order to choose shares and not cheat, the child, who represented innocence, went under the table and appointed the buyers of the shares.
In the Middle Ages, in Brie as elsewhere in the kingdom, anyone who found beans had to pay for a common round, which could turn out to be a big expense, but when you’re a king, you’ve got to be generous. So, in order not to run out of pennies, bad gamblers swallowed the beans that were edible at that time.
It is at this point that we will imagine the porcelain fever.
Frangipane originated in Italy
The various marriages of French kings with foreign wives also brought many traditions from other places. For frangipane, we’ll go back to the court of Queen Catherine de’ Medici of Florence, Italy. Wife of King Henry II in the 16th centurye century, this pastry brings us culinary interest, its recipe was given to the queen by Count Cesare Frangipane, one of the nobles of his family. So, does the name mean something to you?
Here we are in the city of Brie in 2023, passing on another year the old tradition that has known its changes in our history. So, Romans, Christians or atheists, nothing prevents a good meeting between friends and family members to taste this good cake.
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