Saturday, January 5, 2008

Well-wishers for the new year

On Dec 31, I was taking a shower in the morning when I heard something resembling a heard of elephants thumping on the stairs in the house. After I turned off the water, I could hear voices singing. It was pretty loud. Since the radio is almost never on, and never to that volume, I wrapped the towel around me and went on upstairs to check what is happening. In the hallway upstairs, I first saw Martin's mom, who broke into a big smile when she saw me there with hair dripping wet, wrapped only in the towel. Martin must have seen her, because he came from around the corner, and when he saw me, he quickly came to me, shooing me to go downstairs, that there are twenty older men in the kitchen, and that it would be very embarrasing if they saw me that way.

And so I hurried downstairs and put on pants and shirt, but by that time the concert was over.

So this was a group of people who go visit every house in the village, to offer good wishes for the new year. Martin said he was thinking of joining the club one year, because in many places they are offered a drink, so by the end of the day things look pretty nice...) They also mark the door of each house with "CMB 2008", which, according to this german wikipedia entry, stands for Christus mansionem benedicat, or Christ bless this house, probably, if I am translating "Christus segne dieses Haus“ correctly.

It would have been nice to have been told to expect this - I knew that the marking on the door is done each year, but somehow I thought they actually do it on New Years. As it was, I missed a nice little performance by twenty guys crammed into Martin's parent's tiny kitchen. Martin's sister remarked that some people lock their homes so that these guys can't get in - that way they don't have to wash the floor afterwards, apparently. Too bad for those people. I did try to get a photo of them when they left the next house, but only about a quarter of them are on the picture.

1 comment:

Matt Heavner said...

that's so fun! Martin definitely should have joined in, and have warned you!

I'm sitting on Ketchikan on the plane (getting out of convocation-woohoo) and Alaska air is playing "box of rain" (by the dead). It perfectly describes ketch today-gross! Couldn't they build a bridge to the airport here!?!

Happy 2008!