Mardi Gras begins tomorrow so the Mardi Gras King costume and the Mardi Gras Queen costume tie for Costume of the Week. Of all the Mardi Gras costumes, the king and queen are the pièce de résistance but the question is can anyone dress as the Mardi Gras King and Queen? The answer is of course, it is a free country after all. However, if you want to follow official Mardi Gras tradition, the chance to wear the Mardi Gras King and Queen costumes is decided by eating a King Cake. A King Cake, you say?
A king cake is a round, brioche style cake that is served at Mardi Gras parties. It is braided, shaped into a ring and baked. Then it is topped with Royal icing in purple, green and gold to represent the colors of Mardi Gras. The braid of the cake represents the three kings in Christian faith, and thus gets the name “king cake.” The round shape symbolizes the unity of faiths. Inside the cake is baked a small figurine that represents the baby Jesus. The cake gets sliced for all of the party guests and the person who receives the slice of cake with the baby figurine becomes the queen or king. It is a sweet and delicious Mardi Gras tradition that plays an important part in choosing who gets to wear the Mardi Gras King costume and the Mardi Gras Queen costume. As tradition goes, that person is now obligated to host the next Mardi Gras party and supply the next King Cake.
Mardi Gras originated as a carnival held before Lent that allowed people one last opportunity to feast and indulge in merrymaking activities. The ceremony of the King Cake and the choosing of Queen and King can continue weekly throughout the Lenten season. Of course you don’t need to have a king cake to dress up in a Mardi gras costume but it makes it more fun.