The New Orleans tradition of king cakes probably began in the 1870s. Some say the orgins date back to pre christian times. A coin or such was placed in the cake and whoever found it was treated as a king for the year. They were then sacrificed at the end of the year in order to ensure a good harvest. It was later christianized and became part of Christmas celebrations. Over time it has now became part of pre lent celebrations. The cake is usally in the shape of an oval to represent the three kings or magi who visited Jesus Christ. It is also a symbol of the unity of faiths. Traditional Mardi Gras colors are used for decoration. These include purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. A small baby figure that represents baby jesus is also baked into each cake. Traditional the baby was represented by a bean. The person who finds the baby in their slice of cake will be rewarded with good luck. In some places it also means that they will have a baby.They are also responsible for bringing the king cake next year.