20 December 2013

Bloom or die

So, our tree is up.

No, not that one.

OK, technically yes, this one, but that's not the one I'm talking about.

Yep, this is the one -- although, if one must be pedantic, it is not a tree but rather branches from a special bush that Czechs call "Barborka," because its branches are clipped on December 4, which is the day for St. Barbara. These particular branches came courtesy of one of our school's groundskeepers, who was kind enough to trim a bunch of them and offer them to the Special Assistant to the Blogger and other women at the school.

The Barborka is another of the great Christmas traditions of the Czech Republic, which generally follow this pattern: If the desired result happens, you will have a wonderful year, and if not, you will die. In this case, the buds of the Barborka must bloom by Christmas.

According to the old tradition, you count the number of days after December 4 in which the buds blossom, and that's the month when you'll be happy. Now, these buds blossomed two days ago, which places our happiness roughly in February 2015. Tradition also dictates that if the blossoming occurs, the woman of the house will get married. Additionally, the woman of the house can name the branches after men she likes, and the branch that blossoms first represents the man she'll marry. That might explain why I overheard the Special Assistant name every branch "Jaromir Jagr."


  1. Great ending! Love the tree-saw Snoopy and Ernie and more. Merry Christmas!

  2. Ha ha, good old Magda. Good luck with the happiness mate...though pretty sure you've got it covered!! x

  3. Some how knowledge of this tradition got past me, interesting. It all sounds very Czech, especially the part about dying. Let me be the first to send my early congratulations to Mr and the future Mrs Jagr :)