Last Friday, on the 6th of January, the whole of St Olave’s celebrated the feast of Epiphany “French-style”. Indeed, in France, Epiphany (in French, l’Épiphanie) is still very much celebrated and Madame Banfield together with the Year 6 pupils told us all about it during assembly in the morning.
L’Épiphanie is on the 12th day of Christmas and marks the end of the Christmas celebrations (in England, this is when we take down the Christmas decorations). It commemorates the arrival of the Three Kings in Bethlehem with their presents of gold, myrrh and incense for the baby Jesus.
In France, this is celebrated with a special cake called la Galette des Rois (the Kings’ Cake). Inside the cake, there is a fève, (a bean). It used to be a broad bean, now it is a coin or a porcelain figurine. The person who discovers the fève in their serving is declared le roi (the king) or la reine (the queen) and gets to wear the golden paper couronne (crown) that comes with the cake.
During the day, each class made some beautiful couronnes to wear and, in the afternoon, we all shared the Galettes des Rois that Madame Banfield had prepared for us. It was very yummy!