House benediction on January 6th, the Epiphany

Today this tradition is still practiced in some houses.

On January 6th there is the Epiphany, also called the Three Kings Day. It is a religious festivity, which origins date back to the birth of Jesus. In that time three men went to visit Jesus and brought him some gold, incense and myrrh. Since the 6th century these men have been called Kings and since the 9th century they have been named Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. They represent the three races on earth, the three phases of life and the three earth continents.

Nowadays in church the preparations for this tradition include: the consecration of chalk, incense, holy water and salt, which is put into the water to avoid freezing.

Families usally walk through their houses praying on Epiphany‘s Eve. They hold a pot with coal and incense and also some holy water and chalk. All the rooms are blessed and on the entry door they write C-M-B and the year date. C-M-B stands for “Christus mansionem benedicat“, Christ bless this house. In the vernacular it is often translated with Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar.

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