Tonight will be Twelfth Night, the last festival of Christmas. Some will have a Kings’ Cake, with a fava bean in it to identify the King or Queen of the Revels — a license for mischief. A masked ball is just the thing, with dancing and excessive kissing if possible.

Here is a recipe for your Kings’ Cake, or Galette des Rois, which I have run through automatic translation for the benefit of non-French speakers. Oh, I admit it, I love the surrealistic charm of automatic translation. It is just a little early Twelfth Night mischief :

There are perfectly good recipes in English, like this one:

Here is my personal favorite song about the Three Kings, “Le Marche des Rois Mages”: There is a grandeur to this song, even though the image it gives of the wise men’s passage — with banners and retinue and so on, travelling through Provence together — does not seem very plausible. The tune is suited to a conga line, though, for your masked ball.

And here is an English text for it, with an MP3:

Here is another Epiphany hymn, “Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning”:

This is a sweet 19th century hymn, the kind you may remember your grandmother singing at the piano in the parlor. This will be suitable for singing or playing to settle down for naps taken to fortify yourself for the night of wild frolicsomeness to come.

But this is also the day my boys go back to school, the day after my car broke down, and the day before our next houseguest arrives, so we may be doing more work than celebration at our house.

You may be ready to take your mind off all thoughts of celebration. The Water Jar has an interesting discussion of free speech going on. It began two days ago, but I have been going back to read the new comments each day, so if you weigh in on the discussion, I will see what you have to say.

Or if you are in the mood for mischief, go to DrDrew’s site ( and join in the hijacking of his xanga. He has been out of the country, and people have taken the opportunity to take over his xanga for not-very-nefarious purposes. He will be our houseguest, and I look forward to seeing his reaction when he discovers this. If you leave an entirely random comment there, it will add to the mischief.

Oh, and I am told that Kael (not Kale, like the vegetable) Darkstar is a character in a game, so the book of poetry I mentioned may be a virtual one, not a real one. This makes an even better example, actually, but I stand corrected.