Live Local: King Cake Display at the Biloxi Library
Lace up your shoes and take a stroll with News 25’s Lorraine Weiskopf in today’s edition of Live Local, a series you can catch on News 25 on Thursdays.
Today, News 25’s Lorraine Weiskopf takes us to the Biloxi Library on Howard Avenue where they have a display featuring king cakes.
It’s traditionally in the shape of a ring made of twisted cinnamon roll style dough glazed with icing or dusted with sugar and colored in purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. This is the famous king cake. Biloxi Library Historian Jane Shambra said, “The king cake tradition is with us every single Mardi Gras season and what’s cool about that is it gives us a new pastry, a new bit of sweetness to take part of.”
Mardi Gras seasons starts Kings Day, January 6th, and ends on Mardi Gras Day also known as Fat Tuesday. “On January 6th, you might have a King Cake party. A girl has a party and she has a king she’s selected to be with her.”
At these parties there’s singing and dancing with the cake being king of it all, but enjoy at your own risk because there is a catch. “Inside the King Cake there is a doll planted and whoever gets the doll is responsible for bringing the next King Cake and the party goes on and on and the last King Cake Day would be Mardi Gras Day.”
While you have to buy the next King Cake, the baby also symbolizes luck and prosperity for whoever finds it. Today, these plastic babies are typically hidden within the King Cake, but that wasn’t always the case. “It started out as a little porcelain doll and it’s called a Frozen Charlotte and it has a sad, sad story behind it.”
A Frozen Charlotte is a porcelain doll. The name is based off an American folk ballad Fair Charlotte, with that story being as grim as it sounds. “After the porcelain doll, they were pretty big, they used brown beans and later on plastic became more popular.”
While you can now buy your King Cake year-round in an array of different fillings, the tradition remains unchanged. “It’s fun. You can still get King Cake now even though there’s no parades going. We still celebrate Mardi Gras.”
Live Local is made possible through the support of the Biloxi Library System.