Planning your visit to Poland, make sure you stay in the country for 6th of January, which is dated Three Kings holiday or as Poles name it – Święto Trzech Króli. This holiday is very important and is considered to be an essential part of Polish Christmas traditions. People are waiting for this day to honor three important historical figures.
Three Kings, Magi, or Wise Men who came to Jesus were not the Kings for sure but were certainly men of learning. They were those who at that time were able to follow the patterns of the stars religiously. After Wise Men had noticed an unusual star, they realized that it meant the birth of the new king. They followed the star leading Three Kings to Jesus and when it finally had stopped, they understood that they reached the place where the new King was born.
“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2).
Three Kings came to Jesus not only with respectful words, but also with the gifts that have left a mark in history. In order to honor Baby Jesus, Three Kings presented three gifts: Frankincense, Gold, and Myrrh.
Frankincense was a gift of Kaspar, who was the King of Sheba. This gift symbolizes righteousness and holiness . At that time frankincense was burned together with great offerings for God; therefore, it is also a symbol of Jesus’s willingness to become a sacrifice wholly giving Himself up for the humanity.
Gold was a gift of Melchior (the King of Arabia) and represented the belief of Christ to be the King of Kings.
Finally, Myrrh was a gift of Balthasar (the King of Tarse and Egypt). As this kind of perfume was put on dead bodies to eliminate the smell, Myrrh was a prediction of Christ’s sufferings and death.
For Epiphany, or in other words, Three Kings holiday, a traditional Polish Three Kings Cake (Ciasto Trzech Króli) is baked. It is also called Three Kings bread , which Spaniards and Spanish Americans also name Rosca de reyes. The recipe of the pastry differs according to countries; usually, the cake is made with almond paste or cream filling, raisins, dried fruits, and nuts. Sounds delicious, ha?
*If you would like to fully dig in Epiphany celebration, you can buy this traditional treat in any shop before the holiday or make the cake yourself following the internet recipes.
Poland is also a great place to observe traditional Three Kings parades. People dressed up in the costumes of colors of Wise Men occupy the streets of both big and small cities and welcome Three Kings with joyful caroling.
On this holiday families go to church to get a blessed piece of chalk in order to write the initials of the Three Kings on the front door. Sometimes, the local priest can knock in your door and for a small donation check whether the letters “K+M+B” (Kaspar, Melchior and Balthazar) are written in the right place.
Pepe Housing team wants to wish everyone a blessed Friday! Spend some quality time with your family and loved ones. If you have any questions regarding the holiday, do not hesitate to ask or comment below.