Palm Sunday: traditions of the holiday and signs, folk customs
Often the plots of church holidays are closely linked with folk traditions, such as Palm Sunday. The Orthodox tradition marks an important event for Christians — the entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. The holiday symbolizes the entrance of the son of man into the gates of paradise, recognizing Jesus Christ as our Savior.
With the Sunday event, the people connected a number of signs and customs, which explain what this day can and cannot be done.
The essence of Christian history
The description of the event, to which Palm Sunday holiday is timed, is connected with the resurrection of Lazarus, when the people called Jesus Christ their king. According to the old custom, the ruler, who came in peace, was to enter the gates of the city on a donkey.
Jesus’ observance of this tradition led to the recognition of his messiah, a demonstration of popular delight.
However, local priests, who did not recognize the new faith, condemned the Messiah to death, after his trial. The Roman procurator appointed a penalty after five earthly days.
Therefore, the celebration of Easter Sunday does not have a permanent date, but falls on the last Sunday before the Orthodox Easter holiday.
What is the date of 2018 to celebrate Easter? The biggest and brightest holiday of all Christians falls on April 8th.
Hence, the celebration of Palm Sunday falls on April 1, 2018.
Folk traditions on the eve of the church event
On Palm Week
Since before Easter, according to tradition, Orthodox Christians follow the rules of Great Lent, the Palm Week is considered to be its sixth week. According to the tradition, solemn services are sent to churches every day, and parishioners prepare for Sunday’s solemn celebration.
- According to folk customs, Monday is considered to be a mother-in-law — a son-in-law is sent to visit her mother-in-law. According to the signs of the first day of the Holy Week, the household presents gifts to each other. This is a pledge of family grace.
- For a long time, willow has become the main symbol of the week. Sprigs of plants are placed throughout the dwelling, watching their condition. According to folk traditions, the branches with buds should be harvested so that they will blossom at home.
According to the customs of different nations, the willow is used like a house amulet, weaving it into braids, weaving wreaths from it. With the approaching of Palm Sunday, the importance will increase, the weather and the wealth of the future harvest are predicted by the twigs.
On the last day before Sunday
The day is called the Azure Saturday, when Jesus resurrected his associate Lazarus of Bethany. After zealous Jesus prayers to God, a miracle happened at the burial site, and Lazarus, who was buried four days ago, came to the people.
Christians celebrate Sabbath Day with a special canon of divine services in honor of the miracle, but not accidental, but expected for the faith.
According to Christian tradition, the evening divine services in churches sanctify verbal branches, which is associated with the beginning of the celebration of a miraculous event — Palm Sunday.
Bright traditions of Sunday
Folk omens report that the vertebral twig, consecrated in the evening service, acquires healing properties. However, the main services in the church go exactly Palm Palm Sunday.
The willow tree tradition of folklore is associated with the awakening of nature after a long winter sleep, and blooming, fluffy buds — with the beginning of the spring procession.
According to custom, after the church service, the willow is brought home to symbolically unfasten a sprig of households. Such an unusual ritual gives a person health and grace.
The branches themselves are set in the red corner where the home icons are located. The consecrated willow must stand for a year, on the eve of the next holiday it is solemnly burned.
Code of folk customs
- In ancient times it was believed that willow gives a man courage and strength. Therefore, representatives of the male half should make themselves amulets on the day of the holiday in order to wear the whole next year.
- Signs about willow twigs endowed their kidneys with healing properties. They were placed at the head of the bed, the talisman had to protect against diseases for a year, especially for children.
- Slavic customs ordered Orthodox believers to prepare decoctions from the buds of a tree, to make powder from dried raw materials for adding to bread. Some Slavic peoples adapted to cook a willow porridge.
- The burnt twig of the consecrated willow protected the house from fires. A twig moistened with holy water was used for the magical rite of cleansing the home from evil spirits, improving karma.
- According to popular custom, the willow was removed headache. To do this, combing the hair, removed the hairs from the comb, and then threw them into the water, where the sprigs of the magical plant stood.
Consecrated on Palm Sunday, the twigs attracted wealth, dropping them into the river. To increase livestock production, the kidneys were added to food by animals.
To ensure business success, the custom prescribed to eat a few buds of the plant.
Folk omens for women
- Wearing a necklace and earrings from the buds of the Sunday symbol helped the women childlessly get pregnant. To consolidate the magical effect of the rite, several buds were supposed to be swallowed.
- To protect the silence of the home from trouble, several branches should be identified under the roof of the house. To protect the modern apartment, according to the tradition, a bunch is fixed above the entrance door.
- To save the family, a woman should have hidden twigs hidden behind an icon. By accepting, the husband will not fall out of love until the branch hallowed by Palm Sunday rests behind the holy images.
What not to do on a holiday
- It was forbidden to perform any work, especially heavy physical.
- It was forbidden to drive livestock out of the gate, so as not to attract evil spirits.
- It was forbidden for women to engage in any kind of needlework.
Signs on a holiday
- Bad weather with rain on Palm Sunday promised a rich harvest.
- According to the signs, the eaten kidney of a willow protected for the whole year from diseases.
- The wind on a spring afternoon of Palm Sunday foreshadowed a windy summer.
Interestingly, in some years, the day of Holy Pascha, which means Palm Sunday, for Catholics and Orthodox, coincide. Such years are considered particularly significant.
The followers of the Catholic faith holiday has a different name — Palm Sunday.
In the modern world, not all customs are observed and not all traditions are followed by people on the bright holiday of Palm Sunday. But many try to visit the temples and wish those around them good health and good life.
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