Three Kings Day/ Heilige Drei Könige
The Three Kings Day (Heilige Drei
Könige) also known as the Epiphany is celebrated on the 6th of
January. The holiday originates from the Three Kings or Wise Men from the Bible
who followed the star that led to Jesus.
In early Christian centuries it was
celebrated on the 6th of January and around the 4th
century this holiday was moved to the 25th of December and celebrated
as Christmas day as we know it. However, the celebration of Three Kings day has
been maintained on the 6th of January.
In Germany, this day marks the end of
Christmas time. Children dress up as the three kings, carry a star on a pole and
walk from house to house singing carols. House are sprinkled with holy water
and the doorways marked with what many believe to be the initials of the three
kings C+M+B (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar). Originally these letters were
supposed to stand for the Latin phrase “Christus mansionem benedicat” which
means “Christ bless this house”. This
mark remains on the door until the next Three Kings day.
As the children go from door to door,
they receive cookies, sweets and money. The money is donated to projects and
relief programs for children in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania and
Although celebrated throughout the
country, Three Kings Day is a legal holiday only in the regions Baden-Wuerttemberg,
Bavaria and Sachsen.