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Christian holiday Palm Sunday is celebrated on the sixth week of Lent. In 2023, the Orthodox will celebrate the celebration on April 9. At the heart of the holiday is a significant event for believers, the triumphant return of Jesus to Jerusalem.

Meaning of the holiday

All versions of the interpretation of the Gospel include the story of how the Savior rode into the holy city on a young donkey. According to ancient customs, the appearance of a rider on a horse meant conquest, on a donkey - good will. The people greeted Jesus with rejoicing, covering the way with clothes and palm branches, which conveyed people's joy, faith in the Son of God as a protector, healer.

On the eve of Christ resurrected Lazarus, the rumor about the miracle flew to Jerusalem. Honoring in a royal way was associated with the expectations of victory over earthly enemies, prosperity, the entry of the winner to the throne. But Jesus knew that the rejoicing would be short-lived, replaced by cries of “Crucify!” that the path would lead to the Cross.

Christ did not give up his ministry, he forgave the traitors. The Church associates Palm Sunday with the idea of mercy, forgiveness, philanthropy.

In Russia, in other countries, Christians, as a sign of a memorable day, instead of southern palm branches, put unpretentious willow blossoming in spring on holiday tables.A religious holiday is always tinged with sadness, because Christians know what awaited Jesus, Holy Week is ahead.

Holiday traditions

In the old days, the Savior's Entry into Jerusalem was celebrated with special solemnity. There was a special rank - the reproduction of the Gospel events. The “Procession on a Donkey” was a religious procession, led by the Patriarch on Red Square on a horse disguised as a donkey. Next to him was the king, who led the animal by the bridle. After the procession, the patriarch received the crippled, the poor, reverently fed them, washed their feet, bestowed alms. Peter I canceled the processions along with the patriarchate, and the celebration was simplified.

In the pre-revolutionary era, willow auctions were held, or bazaars, where you could buy various goods, among which were willow cherubs - angels on fluffy twigs. Games and entertainment united people who came with families. Horseback riding on Palm Sunday was called the removal of brides.

On Lazarus Saturday, on the eve of the holiday, young people went into the forest to cut branches from young trees, they did not touch the old willows, with hollows. Bypassed the trees growing near the cemeteries. Willow branches were consecrated in the church, decorated with icons in the house, kept all year round.

Willow has become a symbol of goodness, forgiveness. The Orthodox believed in the magical power of plant buds, which cleansed from evil spirits, ailments. Childless women who dreamed of having children wore willow amulets, showered newlyweds with fluffy buds so that the heirs were he althy. It was believed that willow can healout of cowardice.

There was a tradition of beating branches with the words: "Be he althy, like a willow!" They whipped children, relatives, cattle. The church neither discourages nor approves willow superstitions.

On the day of the holiday it was impossible to work, cleaning and household chores were done in advance. In the morning, Christians went to church for a festive service, in the afternoon they were with their families, kept peace, peace, remembering that Great Lent was underway.

Palm Sunday, according to Christian custom, is the right day for cleansing the soul, preparing for the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ.

Loose Fasting

According to the church charter on the eve of Palm Sunday and on the holiday, relaxations in the restrictions of Great Lent are allowed. On Saturday you can eat caviar, and on Sunday fish.

The hostesses prepared a variety of dishes:

    • fish pies;
    • fish in sesame:
    • buckwheat pancakes;
    • fish with potatoes and onions;
    • fish with sweet peppers.

    It was allowed to put festive wine on the table. In peasant families, mash was cooked for this day.

    A special place of honor on the table was occupied by bread baked in the form of a willow twig, porridge cooked from opened willow buds.

    Signs and beliefs

    In the old days, they believed that on a holiday the plan would come true. There were rituals to attract good luck:

    • to increase prosperity, indoor flowers were planted on Palm Sunday. They looked after them especially carefully, as they believed that the death of the plant would bring seriousfinancial losses;
    • to marry a guy they love, girls had to think only about him all day long;
    • Sprigs of willow on a holiday stuck in the ground in the field, where the sowing season was expected. The ceremony was associated with the expectation of a rich harvest, protection from adversity.

    Pets, birds were kept in the yard on Palm Sunday, they were not allowed outside. It was believed that evil spirits would harm the cattle, spoil or steal.

    It was considered a good omen to rain on a holiday. They associated it with a rich harvest, prosperity in the house.

    Villow buds were added to festive dishes, decoctions were prepared from the branches of the plant. They believed that the healing agent helps to get rid of skin diseases, heals wounds.

    The meaning and symbols of Palm Sunday are associated with the expectation of miracles, goodness and faith in the spring renewal of life.

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