Q: I noticed this week that someone had written some letters and numbers in chalk on my front door in Germany. What’s up with this unusual graffiti?

A: Your house has been tagged by German children participating in the Christian tradition of the Epiphany. The Epiphany is a yearly festival, held on Jan. 6, commemorating both the revealing of Jesus as the Christ to the Gentiles in the persons of the Magi and the baptism of Jesus. The Magi, also known as the Three Kings, visited the baby Jesus, bringing gifts on that day.

In Germany, kids go house to house on Epiphany eve, singing carols and chalking the year and initials KMB near the entrance of each home, according to the Web site The initials are those of the three kings, Kaspar, Melchior and Balthasar, and are meant to bless the family for the new year.

The festive Dreikonigskuchen or Three Kings Cake is also served that night to celebrate the occasion.

So, if you awoke on Jan. 6 to find some graffiti on your front door in Germany, consider it a blessing.

Got questions about goings on in Europe? E-mail:

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