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Austrian Customs: Feast of Saint Barbara, December 4th: She is the patron saint of miners. Workers in the gold mines at Rauris celebrate the day with a gingerbread roll called Barbara bread. At night they leave food out for the Bergmannl, the little people. Barbara branches are cut from cherry and pear trees, brought into homes and placed in water. The owner of the first branch to sprout a shoot will have good luck in the coming year. A person whose Barbara branch blossoms on Christmas day will be married the next year. (1)

St. Lucy Day, December 13th: Lower Austria and Burgenland. On St. Lucy Eve, hags are supposed to have extraordinary powers. Householders protect themselves by burning incense and gathering blackthorn. (1)

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