A Day For Kings

Yesterday (6th of January), was Epiphany or King’s Day, Königstag in German. I had the pleasure of having Robin Rivera as my guest to share her memories and traditions regarding Epiphany. If you missed her beautiful post, the second of Discovering Traditions, then you can read that here. Today, I want to share my own memories of the Königstag.

While being a very young Child in Germany, I lived near Cologne, the 6th of January was be a public holiday (if I recall correctly), on that day children older than myself (aged about 9 or 10), dressed up as the three wise men with a star, would come from door to door asking for a little money that would be given to a charitable project with their church. In exchange they wrote the number of the year and the letters of the three kings on the doorframe with consecrated chalk. Blessing the home or house for the year to come. This year you will be able to read:

20 + C + M + B + 16

For me this always meant “Caspar Melchior Balthasar”, but apparently it stands for: “Christus mansion benedicat”. In Austria I have seen that not only main doors to houses bear these letters, even important rooms receive their blessing.

I never had the chance to be a star singer myself, but that might have been due to the fact that I was not not catholic.

Now, living in France I celebrate with a Galette des Rois, which I actually discovered while living in the US. There I volunteered to make one for extra credit in my French class, it was not made with almonds but with Raspberries and the fève, baby, coin or figurine that one might find within the cake was replaced by a coffee bean (in french fève de café). I can highly recommend that you read a bit about the Galette des Rois on Evelye Holingue’s blog, she took the tradition to the US and learnt how to make her own cake.

© Solveig Werner 2016. All rights reserved.

9 thoughts on “A Day For Kings

  1. I’ve always liked the Feast of the Epiphany and it is fun to learn about how it is celebrated in other countries. I’m sure as a child I’d have loved dressing up like one of the wise men. Missed opportunity, that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Only a few lucky ones get to dress up every year. i did read that in the past it wasn’t kids who dressed up but adults, who went from door to door singing. In exchange they received a little money or some food.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no idea that in Germany you dressed up on that day! That’s fun. It’s also interesting that you ate your first galette in the States. In France there are different versions of the cake, depending of the region. My favorite is frangipane (almond paste) and it’s great since this is the one we eat in Paris and the northern part of France. Thank you for linking to my blog, Solveig. I appreciate the kind gesture. Best to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Around the corner we have a Bakery who had the best frangipane galette in Ile de France in 2014. But they are too expensive. They propose a wide variety of fillings and even brioches.
      My fiancé came home from work yesterday with a brioche feuilleté, which contained a fève as well, it was really really tasty.


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