I have often seen chalk writing above many doors in Luzern (not so much in other Cantons). It looked like a code of some sort and I wondered what it signified. I found out today.
On the 12th night after Christmas, the house is blessed by marking the outside of the dwelling, just above the door, in chalk, with the year and C+M+B. For example, this year, it will be marked 20 * C + M + B + 14
The letters have a very lovely meaning. Though some whisper the names “Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar, the true meaning is “Christus mansionem benedicat.” Translation? “May Christ bless the house.”
It’s called the “Sternsinger-Gruss.” The “Sternsinger” is a group comprised of the Three Kings and a Star bearer. Below is a picture of the four children from my church service today. They sang a lovely carol, in Luzern dialect, and left the church lead by the star. Lovely tradition.
The carol had a nice reminder in it. Jesus entered the world weak and poor. He left the world as a King.
Sternsinger Gruss. I like that.