Jetty, Sjan and Angele are the three kings of Berkel-Enschot

Jetty, Sjan and Angele visited their apartment complex in the center of Berkel Enschot on Thursday as Balthazar, Melchior and Kaspar. The three ladies, eighty plus and full of life, want to keep the tradition of Epiphany alive.

They are actually a day early, because Epiphany falls on January 6. Beautifully dressed, they ring the doorbell of the also older co-residents in the complex. Immediately the Epiphany song is sung exuberantly. But they are also on the road for charity, because they collect money for Villa Pardoes, where sick children and their parents can take a breather.

They call themselves Balthazar, Melchior and Kaspar this afternoon. They themselves know three wise men from the east from their childhood, when they rang the doorbell in the neighborhood as a child to sing the Epiphany song. Then they received candy as a thank you. But they don’t need sweets anymore, so money is collected for charity.

“That’s typical of the Catholic south.”

“It would be a shame if such an old tradition were lost,” they say. Because the youth is less and less on the road for Epiphany. The Brabant people they visit, they are of course familiar with this tradition and they all like it when the ladies ring their doorbell. Remarkable; the 93-year-old Truus, whom they also ring the doorbell at and who comes from Groningen, did not know Epiphany in the past. “That’s typical of the Catholic south.”

Truus is no less enthusiastic about it. She went to the store specifically to change money: “Nowadays everything is done with debit cards, so I didn’t have any change in my pocket,” she says. The residents give generously for Villa Pardoes. It is mainly notes of five and sometimes even more that disappear in the collection box. And with that, this early Epiphany has already succeeded.