The first time I was invited to a King Cake party, I had no idea what that was. My friend explained the tradition of celebrating The Epiphany with king cake. I didn't even know what the epiphany was. Bear with me. I'm not Catholic, and was new in Louisiana at the time.

One of the guests found a plastic baby inside his piece of King Cake. There was a lot of excitement over that. It was explained that whoever gets the baby has to bring the next King Cake. For many years, I understood that to be the only significance of the baby. It was just recently explained to me, (by a New Orleans native whom I've known for more than 20 years) that the plastic baby symbolizes the Baby Jesus... I thought, "Duh!"...But, of course!  I don't feel quite so bad about that, now that I've asked a couple people here at work. They didn't know, either.