Palm Sunday is one of the most important holiday in the Catholic calendar.
It begins a period of spiritual preparation for Easter, which is characterized by silence, concentration and experiencing the passion of Christ.
Palm Sunday has been celebrated in Poland since the Middle Ages.
According to Catholic traditions, on this day people go to church with their pussy willows or 'palms' made of colourful woven dried branches, which are the symbol of a reviving life.
Palm Sunday, formerly also called “Kwietna"; “Wierzba", because willow twigs covered with bases replaced palm twigs in Poland.
Currently, depending on the region of Poland, palms are made of colourful dried flowers and herbs, different coloured blotting-paper flowers.
The largest palms in Poland are made in Kurpie in the village of Łyse. They are even a few meters long.
The dedicated Easter palms were supposed to protect people, animals and houses from all kinds of evil, diseases and infertile. The sacrificed palm was treated with great respect. In the past, there was a custom that the first person to get up on that day could use the Easter palm to challenge other people in the household and no one should be offended.
After coming from the church, everyone and especially children were touched with Easter palm so that they would be healthy and obedient throughout the year.
There was also a habit of swallowing the base. Mom would tear a few bases from the willow twig and order them to be eaten, calling out: - From the throat! From the stomach! From any asp!
The consecrated palm was plugged behind the frame of the sacred painting or placed over the door to protect the house and its inhabitants from fire and lightning, and kept until the following year.