Happy New Year!
Forget the resolutions. Let’s keep celebrating! The twelve days of Christmas are not officially over until the revelries of Twelfth Night, January 5th, the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany.
If you don’t remember what Epiphany is, it’s the day the three Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus.
Technically, Twelfth Night celebrations went out of favor in the Victorian era. Supposedly they were banned by the queen. Or perhaps it was the fault of the Industrial Revolution requiring everyone to go back to work after New Year’s Day.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring back the Twelfth Night parties?
Feasting, Dancing, and a Cake
The Twelfth Night dinners were sumptuous, but the Twelfth Night Cake was very special.
The focal part of the Twelfth Night side-table was the elaborately-decorated Twelfth cake, essentially a rich fruit cake containing brandy, covered in a layer of rock-hard royal icing, the top groaning under the weight of sugar figures and other intricate sculptures and piping. Inside each Twelfth cake a large dried bean or pea would be baked; on the big day those who discovered them would be proclaimed king or queen for the rest of the day. — from BritishFoodHistory.com
Here’s an image of one:
And here’s one of Queen Victoria’s elaborate Twelfth Night Cakes:
My friends in Britain and the British diaspora talk about the Christmas Cake being an essential part of the Christmas meal. I’m guessing that the Twelfth Night Cake was moved to December 25th and renamed.
Do you know if that’s true? Share in the comments!
Twelfth Night Treasure
The Twelfth Night cake plays a small role in Twelfth Night Treasure, my story in the Christmastide Kisses collection, now available here: https://books2read.com/u/m26VG6
Image credits: Depositphotos.com and Wikimedia Commons. Queen Victoria’s Twelfth Night Cake is from BritishFoodHistory.com