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Celebrating New Years in French Style with La Galette des Rois: The Three Kings’ Cake #Mercaridays

Mercari is home to a huge number of clubs (you can even make your own club if you find 5 people who are interested!). One of the clubs z-bonjour, Mercari’s French culture, and language club, recently celebrated La Fête des Rois (the Three Kings’ Day).

January 6th, La Fête des Rois (the Three Kings’ Day) is a festival in France in which family and friends share a piece of cake called La Galette des Rois or the Three Kings’ Cake, marking the Epiphany feast and the end of the holiday season.

There are many variations of La Galette des Rois across France, but a typical cake consists of a pastry case filled with frangipane. Hidden inside the cake, there is a small treasure “fève” and the person who finds it in their piece of cake is named “King or Queen” and wears a paper crown.

This year, the members of z-bonjour shared 4 Galettes des Rois from two famous French patisseries in Tokyo and wished each other a Happy New Year! Julien, a member of z-bonjour and last year’s King, tells us more about this tradition in his home town Nice:

When I was still living in France, La Galette des Rois was a tradition we had every single year with my family. It was not only just another good opportunity to reunite with everyone and have fun but also exciting to find out what kind of charm was hidden inside the cake. My mother used to buy one galette per day around the Epiphany so I and my sisters could collect different porcelain charms. My favorite galette is definitely the frangipane one!
20 Mercari members of different nationalities participated in this year’s Galette des Rois event

While in France bakeries are filled with Galettes around the New Year season, in Japan it is still rare to find. For this reason, Julien decided to go for a homemade one this year.

Since I was a kid, I always thought that the frangipane was some kind of magic recipe that was very hard to master. Actually after some research I realized that it was super easy to make so my wife and I decided to give it a try at home! Making it was very fun but the galette was way too big so it took us 3 days to find the charm and 4 days to eat all of it (laughs).
Julien’s homemade Galette des Rois

In the club z-bonjour we have monthly activities throughout the year, bringing Mercari members from different nationalities together with the purpose of sharing all about French culture and lifestyle. One of the popular topics of conversation in the channel is French food in Japan, and Wam, a French engineer living and working for 7 years in Japan is one of the connoisseurs of where to find good baguettes and French restaurants for our club lunches.

I remember when I came to Japan, some of the things I was craving the most were
pâté and cheese. And of course, you cannot appreciate these without proper bread.
It took me pretty much a whole year to find the perfect baguette!

In Mercari we have members of 40 different nationalities. Clubs like z-bonjour help give members a chance to enjoy being part of Mercari in an inclusive atmosphere, aiming to cultivate better relationships among colleagues from different countries and backgrounds.

A couple of weeks after I joined Mercari, I organized a lunch for z-bonjour which gathered people from various countries such as France, Canada, and Lebanon.
One thing that struck me at the time was that through the clubs and lunch events, I got to know more people after 2 weeks in Mercari than after a few years in my previous companies.
Lunch organized in 2018

Bonne Année 2020 from z-bonjour and see you again for more #MercariDays!

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