The annual Three Kings Collection, organised since the year 2000 by Catholic charity Caritas, raised a record 130 million crowns this year. The traditional door-to-door charity drive starts on New Year’s Day and runs for about two weeks.
It features children dressed as Kaspar, Melichar and Balthazar – the “three wise men”, later known as kings, who according to the Bible followed the star of Bethlehem to find the new-born baby Jesus.
The volunteer “kings” go carolling from house to house, leaving their initials – ‘K + M + B’ – above the door frames as a symbol of blessing.
Charita Czech Republic is the largest non-state provider of social services in the country. Over the past two decades, the processions have in total raised more than 1.4 billion crowns in aid of the needy.