In ancient times, a cake would be baked and in it would be hidden a bean, coin or nut. Whoever should get he piece of cake with the foreign object would become lord of the feast. I guess this is a great reason to have your cake first. The holiday celebrations stretched out to fill the long dark nights of winter and served as both distraction and community building as we would annually pass the mantle of host throughout the tribe. So much more could be achieved if we were only to recognize this ancient human art of reciprocation.
The art of the give-away comes up routinely in my writing because it is so fundamental to pour humanity. Every intact tribal culture exhibited this aspect and as each one has lost touch with their roots, it is supplanted with issues of power and control, abuse and neglect, patriarchy and "rule of law". Codified systems of "justified retribution", crime and punishment and property "rights"
have led to far more savage abuses than they have ameliorated. Perhaps by selecting random folks to fill in for our leaders, to rewrite the "laws" if even for one night, could lead us out of our very bleak situation.
Of course, the cast of characters for any respectable Twelveth Night festival also include the queen of court, the jester and a slate of advisers, viziers and the courtiers. Perhaps seeing the silliness of the retinue helps offset how seriously we take our rulers during the rest of the year. It is only the third day of X-mas, so we have nearly ten days to plan out Twelveth Night festivities. May yours be fun and full of hilarity! In my reading, it made it seem like this celebration is growing in popularity. Bonfires and revelry are retaking their place amongst the people and that can only be a good thing.