Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in the Netherlands Series at DutchPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Dutch holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 12 - Epiphany. In Dutch, this is [Epifanie]
“Epiphany” also goes by the name [Driekoningen], meaning “Three Kings Day”, as well as [Openbaring van de Heer] meaning “The Revelation of God the Son.” It’s a Christian holiday celebrated each year on January 6. During this celebration, Dutch people commemorate the wise men from the East who saw a star and used it to guide them to the newborn baby Jesus.
In this lesson, you're going to learn about how Epiphany is celebrated in the Netherlands.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
What are the names of the three wise men from the East?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
On Epiphany in the Netherlands, plays are staged every year at churches or in the church vestibule, with cast members playing Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the donkey, the ox, Herod, and the three wise men. Primary schools, or in Dutch [basisschool], are often the primary promoters of these plays. In Maastricht, you can also enjoy the Three Kings Day parade, or [Driekoningen Optocht], through downtown Maastricht. Fully costumed kings are seen riding horses and camels through the city. Shepherds with donkeys and sheep, and of course Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus, take part in the parade too. Children are invited to march along with lanterns.
Three Kings Day used to be celebrated very similarly to Easter, originally a day of baptism. To commemorate the baptism, water is consecrated, becoming holy water, or [wijwater], used to bless people and homes. When a home is blessed, people write the letters C+M+B, in chalk on the door, in order to ward off evil. These letters, an acronym for a latin saying meaning “Christ, bless this house,” often stay on the door until Pentecost.
For Three Kings Day, many children walk door to door at night in groups of three dressed up with a crown. During the crawl, they carry lanterns and sing. For their singing, they are rewarded with food, candy, and sometimes money, or [geld] in Dutch. The lanterns are a relic of an old pagan tradition, in which people carried torches to scare off evil spirits.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What are the names of the three wise men from the East?
Their names are Melchior, Balthazar and Casper.
What did you think of this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Can you still remember the names of the three wise men?
Leave us your comments on DutchPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson.