Winterlore 04 – Barbara Branches

It is custom to cut branches from cherry or apple trees on the 4th of December and put them in a vase. The branches are supposed to be in full bloom for Christmas. The lore says that if the blossoms open on Christmas eve the year ahead will be a very good and happy one.

I did not have a picture of apples blooming here, will have to wait about 6 months till I can post those 🙂 Until then you get a magnolia as space holder.

St. Barbara is understood as a helper in need, you can read more about her story on the homepage of the archbishopric Köln, or for English speakers Father Alexander also has his articles in English.

An Austrian phytogenetic website suggests to hit the branches with a hammer (the bottom of the branches) and put them in warm water, this will enable them to bloom for Christmas. I am not keen on the hammer method and our branches usually bloom anyway – not always on Christmas though.

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