The Three Kings

Three Kings

The Three Kings from the East are characters from the Bible. They come from the Christmas story. Many Christians celebrate The Three Kings and re-enact them in church services or parades.

The Three Kings followed the star of Bethlehem, wanting to honor Jesus Christ as their newborn Savior. The Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6. Christmas used to be celebrated on that day, rather than December 25. Today it is a celebration at the end of the Christmas season. The Bible itself does not say anything more specific about the times. It only describes that the Three Kings came to the newborn Jesus after the shepherds and other simple people.

What exactly the three visitors from the East are about is not known. It is assumed that they were not actually kings, but wise astrologers or magicians. They were probably also not called Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, as they are called everywhere today. However, their gifts, which appear in the story, were indeed very coveted at that time: gold as a shining metal as well as frankincense and myrrh, two fragrances from the area from which the wise visitors are said to have come.

In earlier times, however, it was firmly believed that The Three Kings were real. In the Middle Ages, what were thought to be their bones came to Cologne. The German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa thus brought the Three Kings to his empire. They were venerated as relics by many people and in the city they started to build the great Cologne Cathedral for them.

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