Drei Könige beim Rathaus in der Marktgasse mit Baum

In Rheinfelden fühlen wir uns wie die Könige

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The three kings have been part of the Advent program in Rheinfelden for many years. On several days they collect for charity at the town hall. Marcel Hauri is one of them.

It's been a while since I marched into Bethlehem with my two companions Melchior and Caspar to be the first to pay homage to the baby Jesus. In the meantime, our tasks have adapted somewhat to modern times. We still come from the Orient at the end of November and look to the stars.

Drei Könige vor dem Rathaus mit Marcel Hauri
- The three kings in front of the town hall

For the past 29 years, however, we have been guided not only by the Star of Bethlehem, but above all by the nine stars of Rheinfelden. Since then, they have led us to the oldest Zähringer town on the Rhine.

Our altruism leads us here again and again during Advent and it is not only an honor for us to collect money here in the Marktgasse in front of the town hall for social purposes in this city. It is also a piece of freedom to continue to indulge in this virtue by which we live in our religiosity . After 29 years, we can already speak of fidelity. When we stand there and people admire us and especially our beautiful clothes, when they look into their wallets and reach for a lump and even throw it into our donation pot, and when we then knock on the wooden floor with our sticks in thanks. Yes, then there is a joyful alertness in the Marktgasse. Thus we may call ourselves righteousness with our good works. The very small passers-by, who walk past us, look at us very reservedly, anxiously and sometimes a little bit frightened. I don't want to speak of contempt for death, but it takes a good portion of courage for their parents to throw the coin into the pot before they hide behind their daddy's or mommy's legs.

What always makes us a bit uncomfortable are the cold temperatures and the sometimes brisk wind that blows through the Marktgasse here. In Bethlehem we are used to different temperatures.

But to see how we can make people smile at the sight of us, and then they stop to make a donation to our pot, always delights us anew. This year we were able to collect 7500 gold pieces, or as we say here in Rheinfelden, Franken, during the Advent season. This is just great and encourages us to come to Rheinfelden for the 30th time next year to do something good for those who need financial support so much.

Drei Könige verneigen sich vor dem Rathaus Rheinfelden
- The three kings next to the big Christmas tree in Marktgasse

We always like to come here. I remember, earlier we stood a little further down, directly in front of a restaurant, which is also known for its beer. At that time, we looked directly at the town church of St. Martin, which now stands there since the 14th century. For us kings, of course, a beautiful sight.

Today we are standing in front of the town hall, a little further up and directly under a huge Christmas tree. For us also a more than worthy place.

And so we are already looking forward to coming to Rheinfelden again on November 26, 2022, in our old traditional manner, which today is probably called simplicity, to set up our donation pot there. Completely in the sense of the 9 stars of Rheinfelden.

In joyful anticipation
Your «Stargazer»
Balthasar of Saba

Das Wappen von Rheinfelden mit den 9 Sternen

The coat of arms of Rheinfelden is a five-part shield in the colors red and gold (yellow) and goes back to the Counts of Rheinfelden. As far as the stars are concerned, one has to rely on interpretations. The oldest town seals show either none, or then a different, mostly odd number of stars. Since 1533 the coat of arms shows a yellow bar starting with 9 stars.

There are also different interpretations about their meaning: The first of them is that the stars have no meaning at all as signs of celestial bodies. They are said to have been used by the heraldists of that time, since color printing had not yet been invented, as a sign that there is another color. According to another version, the stars came more and more into the coat of arms as decorations, which would also be the reason why the coat of arms was first without, then with 3,5 and 7 stars. The people of Rheinfelden earned stars for their brave deeds, for their efforts in battle .... and then, with the permission of the authorities, pinned them to their lapel (or to their coat of arms).

According to the historian Dr. Ernst Münch, the stars represent the 9 basic virtues of the citizens of Rheinfelden. These are marked in bold in the text above.

In 2021, Marcel Hauri was one of the kings who accepted donations for charity at the town hall.

He also decorates the Christmas tree in the courtyard of the town hall every year.