Driekoningen (Three Kings)

Driekoningen (Three Kings)
frutselke, Jan 29, 2021
MOC9 Jan11 - Tell Me a Story

All About Me collab - The Lily Pad

Wordcount: 667 words

Translation of the story:
My first memory of Three Kings Day singing is the one where my dad decided one wintery January 6 that he would dress me and my sister up as the Three Kings. As our mother was one of the jurors of the local Three Kings Day Singing competition, he wanted to surprise her. He cut crowns out of cardboard, dressed us in sheets and curtains and taught us a song: “Two Kings, Two Kings, the other one is ill…” (it’s a variation of the well-known song ‘Three Kings, Three Kings, buy me a new hat’).
He took us to the local school where the competition was being held. Like all the other children we got some hot coco and cake while waiting our turn. When we showed up in front of the jurors it was a big surprised. And they all gushed over how cute we were. Two shy little preschoolers, dressed up by their dad, doing their best to sing a nice Three Kings song. Of course the jury was far from impartial, so we sang out of competition.

This story could do with a little explanation. Three Kings Day is always a big event in the town I grew up in. Every January 6th the schoolchildren would go from door to door singing Three Kings Day songs. In some towns candy, cookies or fruit was given to the children. In our village people it was custom to hand out pennies and dimes. We didn’t get rich, but after a whole afternoon of singing you had a welcome extra bit of pocket money. Part of the tradition was the singing competition. All children between 6 and 12 would gather at the school hall to present their Three Kings song to a jury. And their were 6 prizes to be won, 3 for the young children and 3 for the older kids. The winners were announced at the great lottery prize draw after the Christmas tree bonfire. It was a wonderful conclusion to the festive season. Children and their families would gather to come and see if they or maybe their friends won something.
Because of the competitive element everyone would do their best to create a good act. People in town really appreciated that and at every door we were greeted with much enthusiasm. And it was no different for us, when two years later we were allowed to officially take part in the Three Kings Day singing.

Together with a friend we were now an actual trio of kings. And the stakes were high. Because our parents had always helped out the organizing committee as volunteers they took it very seriously. You had to do it right or not at all. All in a festive spirit of course, but their was no room for slacking. Our mothers would put a lot of time and effort into making beautiful costumes and our father taught us a wonderful Three Kings song. We were dressed and made up as the three kings. Part of our attire were some copper decorations from the sideboard. An old button box was turned into a moneybox. Even our boots were decorated with little golden bows.
You could say we were almost professionals and won a price at Three Kings Day singing every year. Third price in our first year, then second and first place. After three years we had new costumes, learned a more complicated song and we did it all over again. Of course, winning the competition was nice, but what I mostly remember is the joy and fun we always had. The atmosphere in town was wonderful. There were children everywhere. All of us going from door to door, singing our songs. And everywhere we went, we were always greeted with a smile.

In the town where I live now there is no Three Kings Day tradition. Every January 6 the streets of our town remain silent. There’s not a king in sight. Oh how I miss the fun and excitement of Three Kings Day singing. Luckily I still have the pictures and my memories.
    • StefanieS
      Love the retelling of your story. Congrats on moving up from 3rd, to 2nd and the winning first prize. Love the sense of ceremony, the efforts of learning and executing the song. Sharing the stories and the photos makes it a treasure.
      frutselke likes this.
    • bestcee
      This is so cool! I love that tradition and the memory you have of Three Kings singing. It's super cool that the whole town celebrated! Thanks for playing in my challenge!
      frutselke likes this.
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    Month of Challenges 9
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