882 Steinbach Nutcracker Melchior
Three Wise Men
There isn’t a single Christmas manger
in all of the Ore Mountains that doesn’t display the Three Wise Men
from the Orient at Christmastime. They hail from the land which the sun
rises. They bring frankincense, myrrh and gold. It’s not a real
Christmas in our homeland whithout the scent of incense and our famous
Ore Mountain incense burning figurines, or Rauchermannchen (literally,
“smoking men”) as they are called. (They are illustrated in our last
book with the yellow cover). These Wise Men are always strikingly
portrayed in magnificent robes and jewels, and the Feast of the Holy
Three Kings on the 6th of January, also known as the Epiphany, is always
a national holiday in Germany.
According to an old tradition, one of
the house beams above the door is always freshly marked with chalks as
follows:C + M + B and if that all possible, a pentagram, the
five-pointed star formed in one continuous zigzag motion, is drawn as
well. Gypsies are known to respect such signs as they are believed to
keep away the evil spirits for the whole year through.
Caspar, Meichior and Balthasar are
their names, and groups of children dressed up as Wise Men stroll from
house to house as Christmas carolers. They’re a rather impatient bunch
too as they sing:
I am a little King, for money I will
sing. Don’t make me wait too long I have to move along!
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