Niedziela Palmowa begins the Holy Week. It symbolizes Jesus arrival to Jerusalem, where crowds welcomed him with palm leaves.
Tradition of attending Palm Sunday Mass with palma wielkanocna (Easter palm) is very rich in Poland. It was introduced here first in the Middle Ages and still is extremely popular. The thing is that, as you probably know, in the Polish climate we do not have any palm trees. This makes our Polish palms so unusual!
There are many types of Polish Easter palms - this one is probably the most common right now. In some regions dried flowers are replaced with box, willow with catkins, others add some flowers made of colorful tissue paper.
As you can see palms don’t need to be small. Actually in some towns the taller the palm - the better. Since 1958 in a town called Lipnica Murowana takes place contest for the highest Easter palm. As for today, a new record was set in 2011 with a palm 36 meters and 4 centimeters high!
As always, there are some folk believes regarding palma wielkanocna:
✽blessed palma wielkanocna protects your family, animals and household from black magic, fire and flood
✽swallowing blessed catkin heals any throat infection
✽mixing some catkins with seeds would assure fertility
✽the bigger the palm, the healthier children in family