This year, the campaign officially started on Dec. 29 in Kempten (Allgäu) in the Diocese of Augsburg. Each year it begins in a different diocese across Germany.
“Preparations are currently underway in the communities and in the carol singing groups, and we are once again seeing a very great deal of commitment there,” Baumann told CNA.
The motto of this year’s event is “Together for Our Planet — In Amazonia and Worldwide.” The Star Singers will “emphasize the importance of protecting the environment and cultures worldwide” and take donations for Amazonian children.
Children blessing the houses in Germany, December 2022/January 2023. Credit: Annette Zoepf/Kindermissionswerk
The Star Singers received support from many entities, including the federal president and federal chancellor of Germany, who have been receiving carol singing groups for 40 years, as well as Pope Francis himself. For several years now, the pontiff blesses the carol singers at the New Year’s Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
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The fame and reputation of these little missionaries goes far beyond their villages.
In 2004, the Star Singers were honored with the Westphalian Peace Prize in Münster, and in 2015 they were included in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage, Baumann told CNA.
In Switzerland, too
In Switzerland this tradition lives on as well. More than 10,000 Star Singers are committed to bringing Christ’s blessing to their fellow citizens.
On Dec. 19, they visited the federal Parliament in Berne, with delegations from the three regions of the country: German, French, and Ticino, as reported on their website.
Dressed as shepherds and the three Wise Men, the Swiss children, just like their German neighbors, will once again this year continue the tradition.
“Many children don’t have the same opportunities as we do. They go hungry or can’t learn a trade. I love being a Star Singer, so I can help these children,” a child named Louis, who wished to be a small witness of God’s love, said on the website.
Ines, Sina, Titus, and Nils (left to right) from the parish of St. Achatius in Stukenbrock-Senne, Germany, December 2023, will celebrate the New Year's Day service with Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica. Credit: Sarah Kaiser/BDKJ Paderborn
On Jan. 1, 2024, some of the Star Singers will participate in the New Year’s Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at the Vatican.