Skip to content
January 7, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Another First. Battle of Kings

You can shove the gym memberships and Mediterranean diet aside a bit longer. The parties are not over.

Happy FMNY! (First Monday of the New Year). Oh, let the Kings Battle on!

Couples at diner. Woman despairing. Movie still from The Payment/The Moving Picture World/ USPD. artist life,

“OMG. First she couldn’t eat the nachos because they weren’t on her diet, and now she’s broken her tooth on that darn baby in the cake.”(USPD/

Nope, not all about football’s chosen champions out to uphold the reputation of their towns.

I had to grin at Seattle’s coach’s comment after gazing around Dallas Cowboy’s cathedral of sports AT&T stadium.

Said playing there “was like playing in a night club”.

Astute comment: so loud people can’t hold normal conversations, lots of colorful flashing lights, big screens showing games, expensive foods, pretty girls in attention attracting outfits, lots of drinking, some men falling down…

Sounds a lot like Mardi Gras

Starting with Jan. 6th, the battle of King Cakes gets sticky. 

Día de Los Reyes (Mexico and other Latin/Hispanic countries) is celebrated in honor of the Three Wise Men who upon arrival at the manger in Bethlehem gave gifts to the infant Jesus.

The last in a series of Mexican Christmas festivities, often gifts were/are exchanged more at this time than Christmas.

A new dream market for Hallmark and merchants “honoring” cultural diversity.

Rosca (“wreath”/oval shape representing a crown) de Reyes (kings) or King Cakes are served with a bean, candy, or small doll baked inside to represent the Christ child. (See Louisiana’s best King Cakes here and here.)

Tradition says whoever finds the “baby” is supposed to take it to the nearest church on Feb. 2 when Jesus was presented to the church. The winners usually then host a party for friends and family in Feb. 2.

Never enough parties. Hey, Church approved!

King Cakes rule in New Orleans and are closely tied to Mardi Gras and carnival. 

The tradition seems to have been brought from France in 1870 with the “official colors” of purple (for justice), green (for faith), and gold (for power) documented by the Krewe of Rx in 1872.

The one that finds the baby in the cake agrees to host the next Mardi Gras Party.

Parties – a similar theme..but these maybe not Sunday School variety.

Woman surrounded by rows ands rows of shoes. Bessie Barriscale, 1921, Exhibitors Herald, 1921. USPD, artist life,

“Ah, a shoe-in for the New Year. One for every party and church service.” (USPD/

The tradition said to have been brought by Basque settlers in 1718 to the Southern U.S. (Florida panhandle across to East Texas).

King cake parties were well documented in the 18th century there with the “winner” of the baby search receiving good luck for the year ahead – and who had to furnish the King Cake for the next year.

These celebrations just less famous as they were possibly less raucous than New Orleans? You never know just how settled those isolated settlers were when they gathered…

Blue Bell ice cream company knows how big Mardi Gras is in Galveston, TX area.

So local grocery stores were some of the first (2004) to offer a special limited edition: Mardi Gras King Cake ice cream.

The first few years, people scrambled and traveled distances to get some before it was gone. Now the flavor is more widely available (and we won’t be getting calls from, friends elsewhere begging us to buy and stop some for them.)

Time to pack up the Christmas t-shirts and freshen the vintage Mardi Gras collection.

Icing on the Christmas cake

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Ice Cream. Screenshot (Blue Bell Ice Cream image)

It’s good. Mardi Gras season and Blue Bell’s ice cream…any flavor.


  1. Spinster / Jan 7 2019 12:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Spinster's Compass and commented:
    This is a coincidental post. Just yesterday, saw a neighbor carrying a huge “rosca de reyes” cake and wondered what it was all about. Seeing this post made me put 2+2 together with the Three Kings celebrations, and there you have it.

    Nice piece of history to bite on. Enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 7 2019 2:50 pm

      I forget what is ordinary here, is unfamiliar elsewhere. We are party city.
      Thanks for the reblog and will hop over shortly to visit there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate Crimmins / Jan 7 2019 1:07 pm

    Those religious folks know how to party!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 7 2019 2:54 pm

      The more the merrier – first it was Cinco de mayo, then Die de los muertos, of course Dia de los Reyes was bound to arrive soon.
      Working for/with companies in Spain/Latin America, it became clear getting anything seriously accomplished from Dec 1-mid January was an exercise in frustration. Might as well join the parties!
      Thanks for the celebratory comment

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Xena and Lucy / Jan 7 2019 1:22 pm

    We had an Episcopalian priest who brought this tradition with him from New Orleans. Since Episcopalians also imbibe, we would have quite the party in the Parish Hall on the Sunday closest to February 6.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ksbeth / Jan 7 2019 1:24 pm


    Liked by 1 person

  5. shoreacres / Jan 7 2019 7:00 pm

    Ah, yes. Epiphany. Christmas boxed up, tree back in the closet, sparklies all gone. Now, it’s time to turn in the Panettone for King Cake. I must say, as much as I love Bluebell, I’ve never been able to bring myself to try that flavor. Maybe this should be the year — a scoop of that on top of some King Cake would be just the ticket, don’t you think?


  6. sustainabilitea / Jan 7 2019 9:36 pm

    Epiphany! Just put away the last of my Christmas decorations, earlier than usual this year, but I’ll be off to Arizona in a week to visit my parents, so I wanted to get them all stored before I left. Mission accomplished. The rest of the week will mostly be working, but tonight is watching football. 🙂



  7. easyweimaraner / Jan 7 2019 11:19 pm

    I’m glad the party time is not over… and I feel no longer bad after a whole bar of oreo chocolate ;O)


  8. Curt Mekemson / Jan 8 2019 1:31 pm

    The NOLA tribe brought the King Cake tradition to Burning Man one year in the form of a sculpture. It was burned one night, as is the tradition. The baby burned quite well but looked a bit evil. –Curt


  9. LordBeariOfBow / Jan 8 2019 10:15 pm

    Love ice cream, wish I could still have it in the copious quantities of yore, a large double cone with 6 big dollops of different flavours and all running down my chin on a very hot day,

    Loved it.

    Strangely my lady friends didn’t; can’t understand why.

    That Seattle Seahawk’s coach, Pete Carroll, is my favourite to watch,

    He can’t stand still for a second,. He’s up and down, chomping on whatever it is he chomps on, and getting hot under the collar or so excited he looks like he’ll burst.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 11 2019 9:43 am

      Bluebell homemade vanilla. Even if necessary to limit, Would be difficult to live without. (Savor the tiny bit and remember haha). I’ve passed on the half gallon King Cake flavor this year…too hard not to just sit down on the curb and eat the whole darn thing. Sigh)
      I love the Seattle coach, too – now there’s a real coach. Was pulling for them in their last game. (Even though the game isn’t what it used to be – every player is a diva and personality and celebrates on the filed – even if they haven’t earned the right to be proud….their momma/schools/media have told them they are great all their lives and sadly they believe it…)
      Thanks for adding a comment byte.


      • LordBeariOfBow / Jan 11 2019 1:47 pm

        Those ice creams sound like they are to die for, It’s just occurred to me that when I was in the States in the summer of 2008 I NEVER tried the ice cream, and for the life of me can’t understand why.
        I was watching an NFL greatest Super Bowl program the other evening and it was the one Seahawks v patriots went right down to the wire, aand there he was running and jumping and getting worked up and exciting and never stopped chomping. He’s priceless.
        I also read that the patriots QB doesn’t travel with the rest of the team. He flies in his $60 million dollar airplane that his wife bought. Some team man Mr Brady!


  10. The Hook / Jan 9 2019 8:36 am

    Party on, dude!


  11. RKLikesReeses / Jan 9 2019 5:25 pm

    Wondering how many teeth the baby broke. Srsly, tho, WOW! Lots of parties! How do introverts survive? (Love the pix!)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 11 2019 9:36 am

      Baby in the cake – broken teeth possibly the reason forks were invented? (The thing about really big (and loud)parties and especially outdoor events is that there’s a chance for even introverts to walk around and be there without having to be there with everyone – if that makes sense. There’s space. Besides there’s food from all sorts of places. This time of year, who can resist an excuse to be outdoors in the sun…which we’ve had little of this winter, so, if the sun is out, most every creature is too! Thanks for deciding to party along here

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Beth / Jan 19 2019 7:14 am

    Now I’m left wondering, is there a baby in the ice cream? If I share that ice cream, and a guest gets the baby, will they then promise to bring me more ice cream? Fingers crossed! Also, I may have to see if our local store has this flavor.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: