So today is The Day of the Epiphany. One of my co-workers brought in King’s Cake and stuffed the baby Jesus inside of it.
It’s funny to me that she doesn’t really know, understand or even care how or why the tradition is carried out. Actually, many Christians have the same head-in-the-sand viewpoint about Christmas, Easter and other Christianized pagan holidays.
I knew The Day of the Epiphany had something to do with how the Catholic Church absorbed pagan rituals in an effort to “Christianize” the barbarians but didn’t remember exactly what the deal was.
It was interesting to read about it. You can find a pretty cool article here.
Here’s the part that kinda sums it up though.
The King’s Cake has its roots in pre-Christian religions of Western Europe. Part of the Harvest celebrations that the pagans practiced was the sacrifice ritual. It was customary to choose a man to be the “sacred king” of the tribe for a year. That man would be treated like a king for the year, then he would be sacrificed, and his blood returned to the soil to ensure that the harvest would be successful. The method of choosing who would have the honor of being the sacred king was the purpose of the King’s Cake. Several men of the tribe, would eat of the cake A coin or bean would be placed in the cake before baking, and whoever got the slice that had the coin was the chosen one.
Glad I live in the 21st century.
“Epiphany” by Staind