Mystery codes

During previous times I had been watching up.  There were plenty of warning signs then against rooftop avalanches and since I'm very obedient...I staired at the snowloads on the roofs. The visits before that I had mostly glanced in the little stores, discovering the goodies of Monschau.  Somehow I had completely missed the secret codes displayed on the majority of doors but last visit they were all of a sudden all up in my face.

20*C+M+B+08
20*C+M+B+10
20*C+M+B+12


They made no sense, being so similar, but yet different. Sometimes on a door, or a window or a letter box but sometimes there was no code at all.  The codes were smiling in my face, chuckling because I could not understand them.Outsider, outsider they told me. 

So I couldn't take it any more, I had to solve this puzzle.

The lady in the tourist office was puzzled that we didn't know these codes, that she had to explain to so many visitors what they are for. Don't you have this in Belgium? It is everywhere in catholic regions......Well, apparently only in Germanspeaking catholic regions.

The C+M+B stands for the latin phrase "Christus mansionem benedicat" =  "May Christ bless this house"  (or alternatively refers to the 3 Magi Caspar, Melchior & Balthazar).  the 20 and ending numbers refer to the year.  Kids go around singing at ephiphany (this happens in Belgium too but less and less) from house to house and when they're done with singing and got some donation from the people, they write this blessing on the house.   And people take very much care leaving it on there, taking this blessing very seriously.

Anyone seen these elsewhere in Germany or Switzerland?


Comments

Brian Miller said…
how interesting...had not seen this prior and dont know that it is around here but very interesting...