“It was a pleasure to have Keila V. Dawson speak to my Kindergarten class about her book The King Cake Baby! She really connected with my kids and had them saying words in French by the end of her visit. She inspired us to write our own class book!” Elizabeth Gates, Kindergarten teacher, Rothenberg Academy, Cincinnati Public Schools.
On January 6th, the first day of Carnival, I had the pleasure of virtually visiting with Kindergarten students at Rothenberg Academy in Cincinnati. We compared Cincinnati to New Orleans and talked about things that are the same and different. Ok, mostly we talked about food!
And I read THE KING CAKE BABY. So happy to have inspired them to write their own stories, and I can’t wait to read them!
During this time of year of course you’ll hear Merry Christmas, Happy Hanakkah, or Happy Holidays. Thanks to the Dirty Coast store there’s have another greeting you should know…
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While the holiday season ends for most on New Year’s Day, those of us with roots in Louisiana are gearing up for another season -Mardi Gras, baby!
We get this party started on January 6th with King Cake. And we’ll keep buying, baking and eating them all season long. According to tradition, you want to “get the baby” because it will bring you blessings or good luck.
This year, Mardi Grasor Fat Tuesday is February 13, 2018. That’s 39 days of celebration. Can’t wait to get this party started!
The 12 days of Christmas starts today. I know the song by the same name first played on the radio the day after Halloween. For some cultures, primarily in Europe and Latin America, the first day of Christmas started on December 25 and will end January 5. Here in the US, at least in creole Louisiana, the first day starts today, December 26 and will end January 6.
So what’s up with that song? We know it’s about someone getting lots of gifts, especially birds, from their true love. A wee research led me to a number of guesses about its origin. The earliest written version is from 1780 published as a children’s “memory and forfeits” game much like the game ‘I went to the market and bought’ where players are tasked with remembering and repeating what was said before them. Others hypothesize it’s an English Christmas carol, a French folk song from 1770, and even a ‘code’ persecuted English Catholics used to practice their faith back in the 16th-17th centuries. A century later it was described as a game played at a Twelfth night celebration.
Although no one can say with certainty what the meaning is behind the song or the origin, today it’s rooted in both secular and Christian Christmas traditions. And it’s so much fun to sing! Whether there is a connection or not, there are 12 days from today till January 6th, also known Twelfth Night, Le Petit Noël, Little Christmas, Feast of the Epiphany, or Three Kings’ Day.
Whether the song is enjoyed for a secular or religious reason, we can extend the spirit of the season 12 more days. My plan is continue gift giving, but through acts of kindness. I hope you will join me!