A local Manassas bakery is celebrating Mardi Gras by offering the traditional Mardi Gras-season Kings cakes.
Victoria Wu, owner of Cakes By Happy Eatery on Liberia Avenue, said the business has been baking up the cakes since last week and have plenty on hand for Fat Tuesday this week.
“Those who know about the tradition are happy they have found some place locally that has them,” said Wu who has been baking for 29 years.
Like many traditions, the king cake, is deeply rooted in religion. The cakes are baked in honor of the three kings, or astrologers, who visited Jesus and brought him gifts after his birth, according to the website neworleansshowcase.com
While the Bible’s account of the visit states the magi visited Jesus in Egypt when he was a child living with his parents, tradition is the magi arrived 12 days after his birth on a day known as the Day of Epiphany which is observed in January.
In line with the tradition, Cakes by Happy Eatery's store windows are adorned in the festive colors of Mardi Gras— purple, green and gold, Wu said.
Purple represents justice, green represents faith and gold represents power.
While the cakes are popular in January and February, Happy Eatery bakers will prepare an order of king’s cakes any time of the year, in any color the customer wants, Wu said.
“If you want it Thursday for Valentine’s Day, we can make it in pink,” she said.
She’s already received several orders for kings cakes, which are really more like a Danish pastry than a cake, Wu said.
Usually, a small plastic baby Jesus is placed in the middle of the cake after it is baked. Anyone who finds a baby Jesus is rewarded with good luck and is responsible for supplying the cakes at the next Mardi Gras party, Wu said.
Happy Eatery makes the cakes with or without the Baby Jesus; one of her clients requested the baby be left out, Wu said. Not everyone is familiar with the tradition and someone could be harmed if they aren’t expecting the plastic baby in the cake, she said.
Do you take your kings cake, with or without the baby Jesus? Tell us in the comments.