Palm Sunday, symbolizing the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, is one of the most touching Orthodox holidays. To prepare well, collect and consecrate fluffy willow branches, you need to know that palm Sunday 2021 falls on March 14.
Palm Sunday in 2021 is celebrated during Lent – a week before the main Easter celebration. This is due to the history that goes back to biblical times.
The gospel tells how Jesus, accompanied by his faithful disciples, solemnly enters Jerusalem not on a thoroughbred steed, but on a colt donkey. On a noble animal, especially revered by the Jews in ancient times, for its suitability not in military matters, but in domestic matters. The people of Jerusalem, tired of the oppression of Rome and having heard about the miracles performed by Jesus, enthusiastically welcomed the Messiah – the anointed one of God, who appeared to destroy evil and save humanity.
Fresh palm branches, just blooming, covered the road before Christ. Palm branches were used for a reason, as the characteristic leaves of date palms in different peoples symbolized:
- peace and tranquility;
- respect and admiration;
- the victory of good over evil.
Customs and traditions
Celebrating palm Sunday on March 14 in 2021, Orthodox Christians will decorate their homes with another plant-the willow. A plant that blooms and blooms at a time when the snow has not yet come down, and there are frosts.
In the folk traditions of the Slavs, the willow, fluffy buds, which were called seals, was considered a ritual tree with purifying power. Bringing the sprigs consecrated in the Church, parents lightly hit their young children with them, saying “Be healthy as a willow”.
Important! In folk medicine, willow was used as a hemostatic, anti-inflammatory, sedative, antiparasitic agent.
Until now, the tradition of eating a willow kidney has been preserved, for healing from physical illnesses and getting rid of mental adversity. Childless women eat the catkin of the plant to experience the joy of motherhood – to get pregnant.
Palm 2021 will fall in the early spring – March 14. In the Northern regions, it is possible that the buds will not awaken yet, but will hide under a silvery shell. But a few warm days are enough for fluffy “lambs” to appear, indicating the onset of spring.
How to celebrate properly
The Orthodox Church calls for celebrating palm Sunday 2021 in a Christian way. It is not easy to bring into the house, bought or cut yourself, tender willow twigs. And on Saturday or Sunday, visit the temple with the whole family, and bring the holiday symbol with you. During the service, the priest will recite a special prayer “vayi” for the consecration of the willow tree. Thanks to this, simple twigs become a Shrine, just like Epiphany water consecrated by the rite of water purification.
Attention! Church teachings do not specify how many twigs should be in a festive bouquet: one is enough for each family member. But it is desirable that the total number of twigs is even.
For obvious reasons, you should not pick willow in cemeteries, even abandoned ones.
Willow trees brought from the temple are usually placed in the red corner, where icons are placed. Twigs consecrated on palm Sunday in 2021 will be kept unchanged without water until next year. The holiday symbol will help to preserve the well-being of the family, clear your thoughts, and reflect on the true meaning of life.
Palm Sunday, followed by Holy week, does not involve a lavish celebration with feasts, although even fasting people are allowed to eat wine and fish. One of the most touching, but most tragic holidays, a reminder of how quickly the enthusiasm of the crowd turns into anger, it is better to spend in a warm circle of relatives and friends. It is quite acceptable to bake a large lean pie with fish or berries the day before. A treat should be shared with those in need, or just treat your neighbors.
It is worth putting aside on this day things that do not require urgency (washing, cleaning, sewing, embroidery, knitting). Do not turn on the annoying TV. It is better to devote time to reading a prayer book or classical literature.
Important! If entertainment can be delayed, then everything related to the performance of duty and duties is not affected by the holiday.
What to do with last year’s willow branches
Consecrated twigs should be treated with reverence. You can’t throw them away. Dry ones can be burned in a bonfire (and the ashes scattered), taken to the forest and left in the willow bushes (vetla) or left in the temple. Those that have stayed in the water and taken root can be planted in the ground, but not near the house, but in freedom – in the forest or by the river.
Planting a sprout in the yard on the infield is considered not good. This is most likely due to the fact that a planted willow branch can grow to the size of a grove, filling the entire site.