Hello everybody, did you know that it's Saint Barbara's Day today? I usually forget about that myself, but my family always remembers. Especially my sister-in-law never forgets to give me some twigs. "Twigs??" you might wonder? I don't know if this is a tradition outside Germany, too, so let me tell you a little bit about Saint Barbara.
Barbara is a Christian Saint, martyr, and one of the 14 Holy Helpers. She's the patron saint of artillerymen, military engineers and miners, and she's a helper against lighning and fire. I've read on Wikipedia, that Saint Barbara's Day is celebrated by the British, Australian and Canadian armed forces and that she's also the patron saint of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Aviation Ordnancemen (I didn't know that before)
What I haven't found on the English article on Wikipedia is the tradition that we have in some regions in Germany: On Saint Barbara's Day, the 4th of December, it's a tradition to cut some twigs from a fruit tree, put them into water and wait until Christmas - if you're lucky, the buds will open and bloom until Christmas Eve. If they do, the next year will be a happy one :)
This is a picture of my twigs today - I hope I can show you another picture with some blossoms until Christmas (usually I'm lucky) - and maybe those of you out there in the world would like to join this little German tradition? Twigs from cherry or apple trees are great, but I think any other fruit tree is good as well. I'd love to see some St. Barbara's twigs in your living-rooms! :)