Mardi Gras falls on February 16 this year. It is the last day of the carnival season, which officially begins January 6 and always ends the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Although Mardi Gras is celebrated in many cities all over the world, there is probably no place more famous for Mardi Gras than New Orleans. The Crescent City will be abuzz with revelers as they congregate on the streets of the French Quarter in anticipation of parades and other boisterous activities.
The consumption of massive quantities of King cakes is a tradition during Mardi Gras season. Originally baked to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany on January 6, it is one of the most exported food products from New Orleans. What makes the cakes special is the tiny plastic baby that is baked inside. The person who receives the slice of cake with the baby supposedly will have great happiness and success in the coming year – and assumes the responsibility of continuing the festivities the following year by hosting the next King cake party.
King cakes can range from a simple ring of dough, similar to a coffee cake, to grandiose towers with massive amounts of lavish decorations. Mardi Gras and King Cakes go hand in hand with literally hundreds of thousands of King Cakes consumed at parties and office lunchrooms every year.
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