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No 883 Steinbach Nutcracker Balthasar

The 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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