January 6, 2012

Three Kings Day!

Please be sure to go to Gaby at http://www.gabycreates.com/ after you finish here for the El Dia De Los Reyes Magos Blog Hop today!
Well, I see some different stories online about the Epiphany or in Germany they call it Heilige Drei Koenige. As Gaby explained the custom of her family on this day and about presents rather than Christmas, I thought that I would share the customs of this day in Germany.

Children dress up as the Three Kings and go from house to house caroling on the Epiphany in Germany on the 6th of January. The children are known as Sternsinger which translates to Star singers. They take a pole with them that has a star on top. They also take blessed chalk with them to write the initials of the Three Kings— K.M.B. for Kaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar with the year over the house door to protect the household from danger and keep evil spirits out.

I can say living abroad it is a bit confusing when you keep having the door bell rung and you have no idea what is going on. I thought they were pranking the house. The children are going around and looking for sweets like the custom of Halloween in the states. They have the added joy of writing on the house.  They write the first two digits of the year "+K+M+B" and the last two digits of the year. The initials are of the three kings. 

The children do not receive presents on this day and observe Christmas for three days in Germany. They are learning more about Santa Claus as the world seems to be shrinking with the internet and other media. They do know of Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas). Mostly they celebrate the Christkindt translated to Christ child. The Christkindt brings presents on the 24th of December in the afternoon during the customary family afternoon walk.

While touring Europe, we visited Koeln and the Cathedral there has the remains of the three kings. It is in a golden chest within the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. The following pictures were taken by me during our visit. We also enjoyed the Christmas market surrounding the Cathedral. It truly is magnificient. You can read more about it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrine_of_the_Three_Kings

The pictures and video does not even get close to the awe of the shrine nor that of the Cathedral.

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Here are the blog hop participants:

I used this cartridge as well as a few others. 

Here is my layout that I created using Hannah Montana, Christmas Village and Winter Frolic.

Most of it was using the Christmas Village cartridge but, I used the frame from Hannah Montana and the title comes from Winter Frolic.  This could be used to place a family picture for Christmas, or the Three Kings Day.  I am going to place a picture that I took in Germany of the Three Kings Shrine. 

As you can see below, the cuts on the Christmas Village were designed to be propped up.  I used the hide contour to remove the base piece.  Also, I used a small rectangle from George & Basic Shapes or you could use one of the other Gypsy cartridges to weld together with the image to eliminate the cut line. 

After you weld them, it will show in red what will cut.  As you can see the little rectangles at the base are in gray while the rest of the outline is in red.  Only the red of the camel and king will cut.  Also, I placed the manger on the mat to cut out the same color as the camel.

The word 'THREE' will cut out the same color as the king.  I also hid the crown as I wanted that to cut in another color.

I originally layed out the title to be between the star and the photo mat.  However, when I was putting it all together it was too much right next to the photo.  As soon as I add the picture, I will make the final determination where I will place the title.  For now, it looked better on the lower left of the layout. 

I also used the Chomas Creations Glitter mini gel pens and holder on the camel. You can order a set from http://amychomas.blogspot.com/ She also has a really cool engraving kit. I really love how easy it is to use. I also have a video in my archives using it on another project.

Instead of cutting out the details on the camel, I used the gel pens.  I did this by using my hide contour to hide all lines except those for the blanket.  Then, I went back doing the reverse only cutting out the outside lines. 

As you can see I just swapped the housing between the two steps.

To finish the detail on the camel, I used the gel pen and colored in the lines.

The title comes from the Winter Frolic cartridge.

The frame for the photo is from the Hannah Montana cartridge.

I did not know about the customs of the Three Kings Day that Gaby and some countries celebrate.  I had only learned about Germany's custom while living in Europe.  Traditionally in the States growing up our family kept our Christmas tree and decorations up until the 7th after the Three Kings Day. 

I hope you have a Blessed Three Kings Day!


Bunnyfreak said...

Lovely page.

GabyCreates.com said...

THANK YOU so much for sharing this tradition here on your blog and for giving me a shout out!!
Thanks for sharing your project and how super exciting must have been to have visited Koeln and the Cathedral with the remains of the three kings. We'll hop together next year!

Lady Fair said...

Very interesting to learn how Christmas is celebrated around the world. I would have thought as you did, that the children were pulling a prank. :) Very colorful layout. Your blog is not posted as part of Gaby's blog hop, so I'm glad I'm a subscriber to your blog and saw your post. TFS! lflinesatcomcastdotnet

Suzanne cricutcraftingrammyblogspot.com said...

Thanks for using Christmas Village and talking about how you did it. I have it but have never used it so now maybe I will try what you did with my gypsy. Great layout!

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