Palm Sunday - a great Christian holiday, celebrated in Russia since the 10th century. According to Scripture on that day, Jesus went to Jerusalem, where, and began his path of suffering, crucifixion ended.
Of particular importance this holiday has gained because he, in fact, is the last day of Lent.
Already BC at this time the Jewish people celebrated the feast of the Passover, which is associated with the release of God's chosen people from slavery in Egypt. That is why all those who believe in the future on the eve of Palm Sunday flocked to Jerusalem for its celebration. And since even the most ancient Jewish scriptures say that in this city must come the King of Israel, which frees the faithful from the Roman yoke, a lot of people came out to meet Jesus, when he came to Jerusalem. I do not believe in the fact that Jesus the Son of God, that day came to honor him, because legend has it that the king of Israel will move into the city on a colt, which he did the next savior.
Initially, this holiday and the following week is called Palm Sunday, which translated means the week of palm trees. The name of the festival was due to the fact that people who have met Jesus in Jerusalem, he laid out a road from palm fronds. However, in ancient trees it was not, so instead of them as a symbol of the Christian holiday began using willow branch, because it is a plant in our area after a cold winter wakes up very first.
Palm Sunday branches covered in the temple. By tradition, the congregation should depict the invisible meet Jesus, thus paying tribute to the events that occurred more than two thousand years ago. But today, many who believe just brought into the house willow branch.
Since this big Orthodox holiday falls on the last day of fasting, during his celebration not eat many foods. However, after the Palm Sunday allowed some relief: you can eat fish and drink red wine, ideally Cahors.
Feast of Palm Sunday is different from other similar Orthodox holidays because it does not actually have predprazdnevstva and podprazdnevstva. Saturday before Palm Sunday according to the Scriptures is the day.
Traditions and customs
In the Ancient Rus in all cities in a big way we celebrated Palm Sunday: a holiday meant a lot parade, which was attended by all the inhabitants of the city and the clergy. For example, in the capital at the head of the procession was the patriarch, seated on a donkey's colt, and led the animal by the bridle the king himself. In addition, in all the towns arranged the so-called pussy-willow markets, which became a popular place of festivities. Especially these markets have been loved by children, because in addition to the actual willow they sold toys and sweets. Each bunch of this plant became attached Palm Sunday cherub, paper angel who had to protect the plant from the evil forces as long as it is not brought into the house.
Orthodox believers usually keep plants consecrated on Palm Sunday, throughout the year, believing that they protect the house. In addition, branches of this plant are often referred to the cemetery and placed in the hands of the dead, to indicate that they, too, like Jesus, will be able to go through death, to rise and meet the Savior at His coming.
The symbol of this holiday is also credited with medicinal properties. For example, it is believed that if a person eats nine lumps, all ailments and disease will bypass his party. If you put the willow into the water and swim in her sick child, he will recover quickly. And the willow branch, set on the windowsill of the house will take a thunderstorm.
Knobs of the plant treated and infertility: during the festival of Palm Sunday are baked bread for women who for a long time could not get pregnant. This could have bread and all the rest, because it was believed that he has tonic properties.
Believers also thought that with the help of willow can stop the fire, if you throw it into the flames. And people using consecrated branches will be able to get rid of their sins and shortcomings, for example, cowardice and pride.
Palm Sunday in ancient times associated with all sorts of superstitions. For example, if that day will stand the sun, in the summer you can expect a large and rich crop of wheat and vegetables. If on Palm severe frost will be a good harvest of summer grain.
What could not be done during the Palm Sunday, so it is to drink water, typed, where there is a plant. It was believed that demons and other evil spirits often climb into his thicket, to warm up, but when Willow begin to cover, they are all as one jump into the water. Therefore, after drinking this water, it is possible to adopt the diseases and ailments that are difficult to heal.
The tradition of Palm Sunday is closely associated with pets and agricultural plantations. If lightly beat the animal consecrated willow, some of it will be of much use to him, and will not stick any disease. After returning from church very often the owners just do not go in the house, and first planted in the city a few willow branches that were supposed to help get rich harvest.
If crops was a storm in her side and threw a branch of consecrated plant, which was to drive him. And to keep the crops themselves, several branches were planted in the field. And like a custom still exists, not only in Russia and Ukraine, but also in Belgium, in Austria.
Willow helps to recognize evil spirits, such as witches and wizards, and does not allow them to penetrate into the house, where it is stored. A very resourceful Christians even use this plant in order to find treasures.
Feast of Palm Sunday today do not enjoy such respect: it is celebrated only the faithful and honoring the traditions of men. However, despite this, the willow branches can be found in almost every home.
Do you believe in the magical properties of this plant or not up to you, but in many recipes of traditional medicine, this plant is also commonly used for preparation of various tinctures and ointments. Its use as anti-inflammatory, and binding agent for treating varicose veins, etc.