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Feast of the Three Kings in Poland - Trzech Kroli

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Photo of Three Kings Markings on Door

Photo of Three Kings Markings on Door

Flickr by Anropoturista

The Epiphany or Feast of the Three Kings - Trzech Kroli

On Twelfth Night, Jan. 6, Poles take small boxes containing chalk, a gold ring, incense and a piece of amber, in memory of the gifts of the Magi, to church to be blessed. Once at home, they inscribe the date and "K+M+B" with the blessed chalk above every door in the house to provide protection against illness and misfortune for those within. For 2011, it would look like "20 K+M+B 11." The letters, with a cross after each one, stand for names of the Three Kings -- Kaspar, Melchior and Balthasar. They remain above the doors all year until they are inadvertently dusted off or replaced by new markings the next year.

A King Cake with a lucky coin or almond is baked on this day. The one to receive the piece with a coin or almond must host the next party. The Feast of the Three Kings ends the swiete wieczory -- the twelve holy nights that began on Christmas Day -- and signals the beginning of zapusty or carnival time.
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