Hi this is Leslie Harris, and tonight’s the night!
Many years ago, I had a landlady who told me that on the night of January 5th, I was to write C+M+B on a piece of paper and tape it over my doorway. She explained that it’s because January 6th is the Feast of the Three Kings, also known as the Epiphany – C for Caspar, M for Melchior, and B for Balthazar. She said that this was to bless my livestock, which at that point was one cat.
Well, I have a few more cats now, plus I foster cats, and we also have our dog, Ziggy Stardust.
I have since learned a little more about this tradition. It is actually customary to write the year on either side of the letters, like this:
20 C+M+B 23
I have also learned that this is a way of blessing one’s home, not just one’s livestock, and that the writing is customarily done in chalk. This picture is what I wrote over my own doorway before I left for work.
So bundle up and get out there with your chalk! It can be any color, and some people even bless the chalk. Maybe even have a King Cake tomorrow.
Do you celebrate the Epiphany? What are some other ways that you celebrate? Let me know in the comments.