If you visit Poland you may see the letters K M B followed by four figures inscribed in chalk above a door. If you’re wondering what this is about today’s post might just be of some interest.

three kings day

Three Kings’ Day or Epiphany is celebrated in Poland – and indeed in most other Christian countries – on the 6th January every year. In Poland as well as eating special cakes, taking part in or watching parades, singing carols, and attending special church services many will Poles write the letters K+M+B followed by the year above at least one door in their house. Sometimes several doors. They write this in chalk. The letters K, M, and B represent the first letters of the names of the three kings in Polish – Kacper, Melchior and Baltazar. The inscription is renewed each year with the year updated. This year many, many thousand doors will have K+M+B 2010 or 20+K+M+B+10 written above them. According to tradition doing so is believed to provide protection against illness and misfortune for those within.

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