K+M+B 2012

by

Many houses in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia bear this inscription in chalk on their front door. What gives?

K+M+B 2012

It appears that this reflects the way Catholics in these areas celebrate the Epiphany. K, M & B are the intials of the three wise men (Kaspar, Melchior and Balthasar for those who weren’t paying attention in Sunday School).

Enthusiastic Christians (of which there are many in these parts) visit the church after Christmas with a gold ring, incense and amber (representing the Magi’s gifts) and some chalk to be blessed.

The blessed chalk is then used to inscribe doors to protect against various ill adventures.

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