Cultural: Palm Sunday in Poland

Poland is a Roman Catholic country - in fact, It is widely considered to be the most Roman Catholic country in the world. There are others that are are in competition to that title, but at least according to some, Poland has the highest percentage of practicing Roman Catholics - more than Italy or Mexico, for example.

As such, traditional Christian holidays are widely celebrated here.

So how do the Polish people celebrate Palm Sunday?

On Palm Sunday we remember the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem when he arrived to celebrate the Passover with his disciples before his crucifixion.  That is why the palms - people waved palm branches as he rode on the donkey. Palm trees grow naturally in Israel. Not so here in Poland.

So what do they use to celebrate this date?

Well, they take these "palm branches "which they either make or buy or find a pussy willow by some water, and create one and take it to the church to have holy water sprinkled on it. Of course, they aren't really palm branches - they are a stick with some flowers and other decorative things on them on it.

They are not expensive. They cost about 6 zl - so under $2.

They are not expensive. They cost about 6 zl - so under $2.

Here's a bunch of them I saw on Saturday for sale in a local supermarket - Piotr i Pawel (Peter and Paul).

After church they take the blessed "palm branch" home and they are placed over a sacred image in the home - probably a figurine of Mary or a saint, or put it over the front door - to ward off bad things from happening.

-photo from google images

-photo from google images

They often have parades as well.

When our kids were in school, they made one of those branches in their arts and crafts class.  Can you imagine doing that in the states?  LOL

This marks the beginning of the official Easter week.

Incidentally, while we (we are Baptist, not Catholic) do not celebrate Palm Sunday this way, we usually do talk about it - and in Sunday School our kids learn about it and see pictures of how it would have looked. My husband has some pictures of Jerusalem that he likes to show to help people imagine what it was like for the people back then as Jesus came down the street of Jerusalem riding a donkey.

Here's a picture that my son, Daniel, took when he and my husband went a couple of years ago. It's a panorama of Jerusalem.

photo - Daniel Petersen

photo - Daniel Petersen

And that's all for this cultural post!

I hope today finds you having a wonderful day wherever you are reading!

Don't forget to check out what my sis has for you over in the store! She's adding fabrics daily - as fast as she can!



Becky Petersen1 Comment