Saturday, 7 January 2012

The King of the Smurfs

Galette des Rois

On the Epiphany the French eat cakes.

The cake in question is the Galette des Rois, the Kings' Cake, or the cake which is about the kings, or something like that. According to the Internet (Oh great and wise wisdom) the feast of the cake was bound up with a kind of role reversal, akin to the Boy Bishop. However, as this depends on the Cake only existing in Royal circles, that seems a little odd. Also it is dependent on ancient Roman practices, which I fear may be a kind of false archeologism, which we hate.

Anyway, the thing about the Galette des Rois is that there is a thing baked into it. In this it reminds me of a Christmas Pudding which has a sixpence baked into it. Alas this does not really happen anymore. I remember it as a boy, but that was when we made our own Christmas Pudding, and I have not done such a thing since my days at L'Arche Lambeth. Originally these were crib figure in metal or pottery, and one could get the Virgin or the Christ Child.

The Smurf Crown
Now things are a little different. Eating supper last night with Mr McDermott and Mrs McDermott, we too had a Galette des Rois, but this was a Smurf one. (French for Smurf is Schtroumpf). And I found it so got to were the crown above. The figure within was a standing up thing with Les Schtroumpfs written on it.

I, Fr Rowe, the winner of the Standing up Thing
So much for Kings, and Christmas, and baby Jesus. And I suppose I should have mourned the passing of the religious symbolism of it. But in the middle was a little joy, because the standing up thing was made of ceramic, and no where on the packaging did I see:

WARNING - May contain ceramic Schtroumpf

For once it was not 'elf and safety gone mad!
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