Status: 04.12.2023, 09:33 a.m.
By: Joana Lück
They are said to bloom by Christmas and bring their owner good luck for the new year. How to cut Barbara branches of fruit trees for December 4th.
At the beginning of December, one day is probably in the foreground for most people: St. Nicholas. But two days before, on 4 December, another saint is celebrated in addition to Saint Nicholas, namely Saint Barbara. According to an ancient custom, fruit branches that are cut and placed on this day bring good luck for the new year.
St. Barbara's branches symbolize light and hope
On St. Barbara's Day (4 December), fruit branches are traditionally placed in the water. © Photo: Evans/Imago
St. Barbara's Day is celebrated on 4 December. This day is named after Saint Barbara, a Christian martyr from the 3rd century. Legend has it that Barbara was imprisoned in a tower by her father because he did not want her to follow the Christian faith. During her imprisonment, a window in her tower is said to have turned into a flower meadow, and she is said to have taken a cherry branch from the garden.
On St. Barbara's Day, there are various customs that can vary depending on the region. In some cultures, on St. Barbara's Day, a cherry branch or a fruit tree branch is cut off and placed in water so that it blooms until Christmas. This custom symbolizes waiting for the light and hope. It is also customary to cut branches on St. Barbara's Day and bring them indoors to encourage flowering. The flower is expected to appear by Christmas.
Fruit tree branches are usually used for Barbara branches, especially from cherry trees. The cherry tree branch is symbolic of waiting for the light and the blossoming of nature. The use of cherry branches on St. Barbara's Day is a traditional practice in some regions.
Alternatively, you can use the following other fruit tree branches:
- Apple Branches
- Plum branches
- Almond sprigs
- Hazelnut twigs
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However, the custom varies from region to region, and some people also choose other flowering or evergreen branches that are available at this time of year.
What you should keep in mind when cutting
Do not cut the branches too early, because in order for them to bloom, they need a cold stimulus beforehand. If necessary, you can also put the branches in the freezer for a short time. If you then put the branches in lukewarm water at home, they will be led to believe that it is already spring and that they are sprouting out.
This article was created with the help of machine support and carefully reviewed by editor Joana Lück before publication.