The doorbell just rang. I was not expecting visitors, but decided to see who was knocking anyway. I opened the door and was confronted by a man and several kids who appeared to be on the verge of adolescence. I must have looked surprised and confused when I blurted out in English that I’m not German. I’m sure it was obvious that I had stumbled across a custom with which I was not previously familiar.
The man, who spoke decent English, piped up and said they were collecting for Three Kings Day. I then got a closer look at the kids, who were dressed in colorful felt costumes. Three of them were wearing crowns. Their leader explained that they would recite verses for me in German and then sing a song. I consented; they performed; and I gave them a five euro donation. Then the guy wrote in chalk over the door which supposedly means that anyone who passes through will be blessed by God. I’m supposed to leave the sign up all year… or at least until the next rainstorm.
We are blessed!
Despite having been raised Presbyterian, I’m not sure I believe too much in religion; but I do have to admit that the kids put on a very cute performance. And it beats being visited by Mormons, JWs, or aggressive frozen food salespeople. I’m not sure the kids were all that into it, though… It’s cold outside and they were probably kind of embarrassed. Public speaking is hard enough. Singing is also hard to do. I noticed the girl standing in front was holding a staff with a star on top. Obviously, the lines were written on the back of the star, because I could see one of the kids in the back reading aloud from it.
I don’t usually appreciate uninvited visitors, but I am definitely smiling now. The Three Kings Day visitors were very charming. And it also gives me something else to write about on my “blahg”. Some of my Facebook friends who read this will understand exactly what I’m referring to when I write “blahg” instead of blog.
For more on Three Kings Day in Germany, check out this Toytown Germany link. I now have a “blessed” house, which is a nice thing. My German friend, Susanne, says Three Kings Day is a Catholic thing and they usually only do the Three Kings Day collection for parishoners. Also, Three Kings Day is only a holiday in Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg, and Saxony-Anhalt. I have lived in Germany for a total of four Januarys and this was the first time I ever encountered anyone collecting for Three Kings Day.
My landlady is a Catholic from Bavaria, so I guess they must have thought she still lived here. Life in Germany is so mysterious sometimes. Yesterday, Bill and I were called “fuckface” while walking to The Auld Rogue. Today, our house has been blessed by God. Go figure.
ETA: I happen to be wearing a t-shirt today that says in German “Life is too short to drink shitty beer.” I wonder if anyone saw it.
You can get one of these at SaintObnoxious.com…