Sunday, 6 January 2013

6/365:2013 ATC Three Kings

6-365 ATC 2013 Three Kings
A primstav (translation: prime staff) or Runic staff is a perpetual calendar with medieval character. Also known as the ancient Norwegian calendar stick. These were engraved with images. Primstav existed in many parts of Europe. It was used in Norway until 1700 when the Gregorian calendar was introduced. On a bar of wood or bone there were cut bars for each of the 365 days. Holidays and anniversaries had special marks. A pristav is divided into a summer side and a winter side. The summer start at 14 April and ends on 13 October (183 days). Winter start at 14 October and ends April 13 (182 days, but 183 days for leap years). The old primstav were not large. They were often no more than approx. 70 cm. long.

The 6th of January is the Three Kings / Three Wise Mens day. On the primstav it was marked with three crosses, three crowns or three men.

According to Christianity, a group of distinguished foreigners visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They are regular figures in traditional the nativity celebrations. Usually we have them displayed in our nativity scene at Christmas.

Although the account does not tell how many they were, the three gifts led to a widespread assumption that they were three as well. The tradition of depicted one of them as negro did not come until the year 500. At this time they also got named Balthasar, Caspar and Melchior.

6th of January is traditionally the last day of Christmas here in Norway, the last day for the lights on the Christmas tree. After this day people removes the Christmas decorations.

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Medium used: watercolours, permanent marker and white gel pen.

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