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Three Kings Card over the door

Discussion in 'Traditions & Memories' started by whychristmas, Dec 21, 2011.



  1. whychristmas

    whychristmas Webmaster Partner, <a href="http://www.whychristma MMC Lifer MMC Emeritus Member MMC Partner

    Hi All,

    I'm currently investigating this custom. (It's lucky to put a card - the first card? - of the three kings your receive over the top of your front door)

    So I thought I'd ask all the wonderful MMC folk to see if they know of it! It seems to possibly a Celtic/Irish/Welsh custom?

    I'm wondering if it's an extension of a custom that seems to originate from Eastern Europe/Russia of putting the initials of the Wisemen and the date over the door of (Catholic) Churches and houses by Priests to bless them at Epiphany:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphany_(holiday)#Liturgical_practice_in_Western_Churches
    http://www.fisheaters.com/customschristmas9.html

    It's also traditional in the Eastern Orthodox Church to bless houses at Epiphany.

    My best guess is that when Christmas Cards became more popular in the UK and Ireland, the custom of the chalk was replace by a card (less messy and more attractive!) and the 'official' blessing became a d-i-y version!

    If your family has this tradition, or you know anymore about it, I love to know!!!

    Thanks everybody!
     
    3 people like this.
  2. Murphman

    Murphman Santa Beagle MMC Lifer

    Yes, our family does it & has for at least 5 years now. It is believed to come from Ireland's countryside in the 1800s and early 1900s but has faded out somewhat there. Every year we take a Christmas card we received that has a picture or any kind of reference to the wise men and place it over our front door (on the inside) on New Year's Day. It is supposed to bring good luck to the house and protect it from fire.
     
    4 people like this.
  3. Christmasstar

    Christmasstar one Crazy Canadian ! MMC Lifer

    I have never heard of this before.
    That is what in part I love about being here, learning about customs and what others do at Christmas.
    Thank you
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. RachRon

    RachRon Elf Supervisor MMC Lifer

    Does anyone know how long after New Years to leave the card over the door? I need all the luck I can get!
     
    2 people like this.
  5. Murphman

    Murphman Santa Beagle MMC Lifer

    The card stays up there all year and is replaced each New Years Day with a new one. Every year I hold up one of my girls and when she yanks the old one off I tell her, "better hurry, right now our house isn't protected from a fire". She then quickly puts the new one in its place.
    A simple tradition but one my family remembers. A few times throughout the year one of my girls will point to it and wish for Christmas to come back ASAP. When my middle child would be scared of monsters, ghosts or bad guys coming into the house when we were asleep, I would remind her of the card and the extra protection it gives the house.
     
  6. whitney37354

    whitney37354 Rudolph's Groomer MMC Lifer

    I have a swag over the inside of the front door, but I could tuck a card featuring the three kings behind/inside it. I still have to go through 2011 cards & I know I have a few three kings cards to choose from.
     
    3 people like this.
  7. whychristmas

    whychristmas Webmaster Partner, <a href="http://www.whychristma MMC Lifer MMC Emeritus Member MMC Partner

    I love all the info guys, thanks!
     
    3 people like this.
  8. Murphman

    Murphman Santa Beagle MMC Lifer

    I'm bumping this thread just to say that we replaced the card yesterday. We let our three year old do it. I tried to explain the tradition to her but she just gave me a blank stare. All she wanted to do was climb on my shoulders and switch the card. Has anyone else started doing this?
     
    4 people like this.
  9. RachRon

    RachRon Elf Supervisor MMC Lifer

    We do it also however this year with all the cards I recieved I did not get one with the three kings on it .So my daughter decided to take one from my box of cards sign it and address it to me so I would have one to hang this year.What a kid !!
     
    5 people like this.
  10. lauriebear

    lauriebear Christmas Royalty Merry Forums Member

    I too didn't get one I was a little upset by this, I was telling the ladies at church and I found out our Pastor's wife had a tradition that if you didn't get one you could pick one of the churches and she would re-address to you, I thought that was brilliant I was so happy!!!
     
    4 people like this.
  11. Murphman

    Murphman Santa Beagle MMC Lifer

    Yesterday I let my oldest child replace the card. We actually had 3 or 4 to choose from which is rare. The whole family gathered in the kitchen all evening for a whole boatload of cooking. Roasted pecans, banana bread, homemade tortillas. We ate until we were miserable. And we all commented on how the house would be safe again for another year. Happy New Year to everyone!
     
    2 people like this.
  12. snowflake22

    snowflake22 *Harlowe's Mom* MMC Lifer Louann Jeffries Award


    Love that tradition.
    Happy New Year to you & yours, Murphman!




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    2 people like this.
  13. Murphman

    Murphman Santa Beagle MMC Lifer

    We just replaced the card about an hour go. We only received one this Christmas season but that is enough. This time last year we didn't get a wise men card so we left the previous year's up. And you know what? 2016 was not a very good year for our family. Lots of troubles, worries and a disaster hit us. I'm glad we have a new card up. We need a better year.
     
    Holiday likes this.
  14. Murphman

    Murphman Santa Beagle MMC Lifer

    Well my youngest, once again, begged to replace the card so I let her. She asked me to clarify what its purpose is and I told her the story. She acted like she wasn't sure if she believed me so I asked her in the 10 plus years we have lived here has there ever been a fire here or a break in. When she said no I pointed to the card and she acted relieved. Simple but memorable tradition.
     

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