Sternsinger – Goodwill bringers

I’ve just had a visit from the SternsingerCaspar, Melchior and Balthasar. They stood in the entrance and sang each one and then asked for a goodwill donation for those in the Third World who are in need. I was happy to oblige – they sang so well that my dog just rolled over and listened contentedly.

When I was working in Geneva and living in neighbouring France where many international expats lived, the custom was to share a flat cake for Les Rois on 6 January. The cake came with two crowns, one for a king and one for a queen. Inside the cake there would be two trinkets – effigies of a king and a queen. Whoever got the crowns would have to wear them, which was kinda fun in the office and at parties.

Here in Vienna, I’m not in an expat area of the type I knew in France, so all the more was my surprise when chatting with the Sternsinger I discovered they spoke excellent English. It turned out that they were an Austrian/US family. No cake and no crowns, but time and goodwill offered to strangers. Another nice start to the year.