Wrapping it up with Bolo Rei

Three Kings’ Day


As I was mentioning just yesterday , we do have this tradition of only taking down our Christmas decorations on January 06 , or the day after it , but never before ; because the 6th of January (12 nights after Christmas) is the day when we celebrate Epiphany  – the visit of the Three Kings (or the Three Wise Men) to Baby Jesus .

We do eat Bolo Rei on this day but also on Christmas Day and throughout the whole season (it is so good – in my opinion – that we had to extend its season 😉  )

bolo-rei-tradicionalFrom Wikipedia :

The cake itself is round with a large hole in the centre , resembling a crown covered with crystallized and dried fruit .

The bolo rei is baked from a soft, white dough , with raisins , various nuts , and crystallized or candied fruit . Also included is the characteristic dried fava bean , and tradition dictates that whoever finds the fava has to pay for the bolo rei next year. A small prize (usually a small metal toy) was also included within the cake. The inclusion of the prize has been discontinued since mid-90s, due to potential choking hazards.

So tomorrow night I plan to say farewell to my beautiful Christmas Tree while I indulge in a few slices (hopefully the last ones this January , as this cake tends to be the real king of bloating somehow) of Bolo Rei accompanied by a very nice English Earl Grey Tea (it could be Champagne , but I’m afraid there’s not a sip left) .

But tonight after everyone has retired , I plan to sit all by myself in the quiet , appreciating the soft glow of the beautiful twinkling lights , maybe even light a candle or two , and give thanks for this Christmas .

I was dreading it , trying to escape from it (that would have been a totally futile exercise I realize now , but truly there were some days that I wanted to jump out of this Carousel ) , but in the end it turned out to be so much better than the past three ones , and I am not talking about gifts here or food and drinks .

Then I will write down in my little Christmas Scrapbook ( a work in progress ) what was it that made this one special , what I did to make it work , what went well and is worth repeating .

So next year if I start panicking and despairing that it will be the worst Christmas ever , I can go over my little scrapbook – if I can find it that is , or even remember that it exists – and look back on this year for a little inspiration .

But let’s hope that things keep changing for the better – and may I have the energy and the willingness to keep working at it – so I will not need to look up my tips from this year . Ah ! that would be swell 🙂

And I will be including you all my dear Turtlies in my thanks , because your support and inspiration and the good wishes you sent my way were no doubt a great help throughout this season . ❤


I have no dancing or music suggestions for you today (odd , I know) , but instead you might want to look at the interesting pictures that our Becky B. published in HiddenDelightsoftheAlgarve  where she talks about January 06th and the Portuguese love for nativity scenes in her post The Last Day of Christmas  .


Turtle Hugs 🙂




16 thoughts on “Wrapping it up with Bolo Rei

  1. What a delicious looking cake! I only know the french version (gallete de roi) which doesn´t look that spectacular but tastes great anyway;) And I´m looking forward to see or read about your christmas scrapbook! Best wishes and Happy New Year, Sarah:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sarah 🙂 And welcome to TheTurtleWay
      And aren’t you absolutely right , our Bolo Rei is a copy of the French Gallete des Rois , and it was brought from France on the 19th century by this family : http://www.casabalthazarlisbon.com/confeitaria-nacional.html ( they still make it at the same place/factory smack in the middle of Lisbon and you wouldn’t believe the crowd they have these days)
      Wishing you a Happy New Year
      Turtle Hugs 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Izabolinha! I am amazed by your wonderful and lovely blog! (I just adore turtles and otters – and what a coincidence: I´m currently working on a little otter sculpture:)
        Oh, and what a lovely place that Confeiteria is! Such beautiful cakes and cookies – I could just jump into them! Looking very much forward to your future posts! Sarah xo

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It.Is.Good.
    But not as soft as donuts , it’s a bit on the heavier side , the dough is a bit more “bready”. And I’m sure you could find some at a Portuguese Bakery , if you happen to have some around your area . 🙂
    I’m finding my motto might be now “prepare for the worst , but expect the Best” 😉
    Attic ? where the boxes wiggle all by themselves ? Mine is going to the basement , much safer , there’s only a Turtle there .
    Turtle Hugs


  3. First, I want some of that cake. It’s like a giant fruity donut! Looks delicious.

    Second, I’m glad your Christmas was far better than you feared. I find that I worry a lot before something I assume will be horrible… and often, it’s not so bad. Then I curse myself for worrying so much beforehand — all for nothing! I hope all future Christmases are better and better. And I hope you don’t lose your scrapbook. [This also happens to me all the time — I get all organized and save these memories… only to misplace them.]

    Third, my Christmas tree is still up, too, but that’s just because I’m lazy. And afraid to go up to the attic. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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