Palm Sunday is a Cristian moveable feast which always falls on the Sunday before Easter Sunday.
In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday is marked by the distribution of palm leaves (often tied into crosses) to the assembled worshipers. The difficulty of procuring palms for that day's ceremonies in unfavorable climates for palms led to the substitution of boughs of box, yew, willow or other native trees. The Sunday was often designated by the names of these trees, as Yew Sunday or by the general term Branch Sunday.
Here are several interesting beliefs:
1 – he who goes to church on Palm Sunday without a palm in his hands, the devil will shove his tail into the hands.
2 – collecting branches to make palms, select those with many buds. The more buds, the longer will be your life.
3 – if you plant consecrated palms on both river banks, when it is the end of the world and all waters vanish, there will be drinking water where the palms are growing.
4 – one should not comb hair on Palm Sunday, because fleas will grow to the size of the palm, or buds on the branches.
5 – if the palm lasts three years, then when black clouds cover the skies, take the palm and cross the clouds with it.
6 – old palms should be burned and their ashes sprinkled over cabbages, to protect them from worms.
PALMS OF VILNIUS
These decorative, dried plant bouquets had no ritual purpose earlier. However now with the addition of juniper and osier branches they have become Palm Sunday tokens.
Now Vilnius' palm production takes place in fifteen villages of Vilnius region. Painters were among the first to show interest in palms. In 1847 K.Ruseckas painted a young girl with a bunch of palms held in her hands and in 1913 he represented palms in colorful folk art and trade show posters. The origin of Palms of Vilnius has not been determined. It is thought that they could have been ancient Vilnius trade guilds' processional adornments, manufactured mimicking Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. Vilnius' Palms are created using dried wild plants, forest and garden blossoms and other plant parts. About thirty different plants are used, among them are mosses, berry greens, timothy grass, St. John's worth, tansy, yarrow and many others.
The making of palms begins the day after Shrove Tuesday and continues till Palm Sunday. This is a project that involves the entire family, however most often it is women's work. The most popular palms are roller shaped. Now there are wreath and whip shaped, flat and puffed out.