Chalk markings above doors

72 posts in this topic

Posted

whilst giving the standard tour of munich to some friends over the easter weekend we were trying to figure out what the chalk markings above the doors of some of the churchs and older buildings...

 

they look like algebraic equations...

 

e.g. 50 * C + 30 * 40 S

 

a shiney 1 cent coin to the first person who can tell me what they mean... :)

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Posted

It's just a bullshit Catholic superstition. The numbers are just the year, and the letters are C M B if I remember correctly, the initials of the three wise men.

 

So it looks something like 20 + C + M + B + 04 this year. Hmm, doesnt have that many +s though does it.

 

Anyway its not just public buildings and churchs, some superstitous families have it above every friggen door in their house.

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Posted

Correct, it is the initials of the three wise men,

 

Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, plus the year.

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Posted

someone's put them on the door to my closet in the cellar of my building. how odd, yet at least I know what it is now!

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Posted

Actually I messed up.

 

C M B stands for Christus Mansionem Benedicat which means Jesus save this house.

 

The three wise men thing is just what is popularly believed. Its written on the doors in january.

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Posted

excellent, i believe it is written like so:

 

20 * C + M + B * 04

 

i was sure there was some *s in there...

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Posted

Wow, I stand corrected.

 

Thankyou.

 

We live and learn!

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Posted

more confusion!!! what do the schornsteinfeiger markings look like bransby?

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Posted

i was taught in school about the three wise men who come in the beginning of January and bless the house. Mostly children who sing, collect money and sweets. The Latin makes more sense though.

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Posted

Epiphany or DreiKoinigsFest is the 13 day after Christmas (or after the 12 days of Christmas).

Apparently the chalk markings mean either or both of the above.

 

From German and German/American Traditions of Holidays

 

Epiphany

 

On the evening before Three Kings, traditionally there were prayers, blessed dried herbs would be burnt and their aromatic smell would fill the house. Doorways would be sprinkled with holy water and the master of the house would write with chalk C + M + B and the year above the house and barn door and say: "Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar, behütet uns auch für dieses Jahr, vor Feuer und vor Wassergefahr." ("CMB, protect us again this year from the dangers of fire and water.") C + M + B has traditionally been translated with Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, however, according to the Church it stands for "Christus Mansionem Benedictat" (Christ bless this home).
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Posted

can someone post a photo differentiating the marking by the chimney sweep and the three kings blessing? i think there is still some confusion. i know i didn't recogzie the chimeny sweeps markings til after he'd come and wanted to climb thoruhg my window to check our "chimney".

 

i know where my bf's parents live, the kids come around singing, all dressed up in costume's of the three wise men, plus caring their respective gifts for the baby jesus (myhrr, etc.). when they're done, you usually are supposed to donate some money which is usually for whatever organization they're with and then they mark the date on your door with chalk.

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Posted

The only thing I can add to the correct information given, is that the feast of the Epiphany on January 6th, is in memory of the time when the Magi (3 wise men) came to see the baby Jesus at Bethlehem. Hence the reason for the children in costume.

 

The collection in our church goes to under-privileged children but each church will choose their own charity.

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Posted

just took another look at the marks on my cellar door last night: 19 + C+ M + B + 45

 

surely it hasn't been there since 1945??

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Posted

perhaps a dodgy 4 - which should be a nine?

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Posted

nope. just rechecked. definitely a 4. it is an old building, and the cellar is kind of old and creepy but, still, hard to believe chalk would stay up for almost 60 years... :o

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Posted

you should take a foto of it, if it's true (not that i doubt your honesty) could mean that people were living in the cellar at the time or using it as a shelter.

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Posted

Trouble with local Royalty:

 

Last year we made the mistake of being home when the children dressed as Kings came to the door, I gave them money (to get rid of them) and they chalked the C + M + B thing on my door. Sadly, the chalk wielding King was very short and so the writing was not in same usual high place of my neighbours.

 

How long should one leave such graffiti? I know the theory is they are blessing the house but is it then unblessed and possibly cursed if you wipe it away. I am considering hiding with all the lights out this year. :ph34r:

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Posted

Here's my little story about the 3 Kings and the chalking on the doors - We moved into our house on January 28, 2005 - no chalking above the doors - April 2005 - cracks appear in the facade of the house - cost to repair - 8000€, Oct 2005 - crack in seal in fußbodenheizung - wet walls all upstairs - cost to repair 2500€

Last January 2006, they came around, chalked the door, blessed the house, etc. Early April I decide to clean the windows and doors, etc on the outside - I clean off the chalking and one week later, our basement floods - cost to cleanup, dryout and repaint - 3000€

 

So, call me superstitious, but, they were at our house on Tuesday night and chalked the door and blessed the house and I WILL NOT clean it off this time. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Posted

the number of wisemen is not set. three was set when they were depicted, but the actual story never states how many there actually were.

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