Romanian traditions on Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday, Floriile in Romanian, is a Christian feast always celebrated on the last Sunday before Easter. On the sixth Sunday of the Orthodox Lent, also known as Palm Sunday, the Church celebrates the day Jesus entered Jerusalem.
Palm Sunday opens the week for Easter preparations, the so-called Holy Week, after the 40 days of fasting. On that Sunday Christian can eat fish, being the second dispensation of Lent, after the one from the Annunciation (Buna Vestire).
On Palm Sunday, people would go to church and return home with blessed willow branches and hang them on the doors or gates or on icons in the house. Some say that who wears the willow branches as a belt will not suffer of loin aches or who eats three catkins will not have throat aches all year long.
The tradition says to keep the willow branches until the next year. People put them on trees to fruit. Therefore, they plant trees before Palm Sunday so that they will not remain fruitless. Willow branches from Palm Sunday are considered symbols of fertility and spring vegetation.
Some beekeepers decorate their hives with sanctified willow branches. Thus they believe that bees will be more diligent and make more honey. The elders say that if it’s sunny on Palm Sunday, Easter will be as sunny. And if you hear the frogs singing until Palm Sunday, that summer will be nice and warm, but full of rain and abundant.
On Palm Sunday, nearly 1.5 million Romanians, of which over 850,000 women and almost 640,000 men, celebrate their name day. The most common flower names are: Florin, Viorel or Florian for men and Viorica, Florentina, Florica or Camelia for women.
Palm Sunday fairs and the traditional pilgrimage in Bucharest
Several concerts and traditional fairs will be held in Bucharest on Palm Sunday.
“Dimitrie Gusti” National Village Museum is hosting a cultural event “Palm Sunday comes with flowers and the sun with Palm Sunday” on Saturday and Sunday. The event will include music, dance and poetry.
The Palm Sunday fair inside the museum is open from 9:00 to 19:00, when visitors will be able to meet Romanian handicraftsmen from various regions of the country who will bring traditional food. Egg painting interactive workshops will also be available.
All people bearing flower names will have free access in the Village Museum on Sunday.
The Geology Museum will also host a Palm Sunday Fair this weekend, putting on display crystal clusters in various shapes and colors. Those over 30 exhibitors will present myriad of mineral collections, jewelry, precious and semi-precious stones or crystal décor items, with the amethyst and citrine geodes being the attractions.
Painted Easter eggs, icons, wooden and ceramics items, canvas, toys, instruments, adornments, painted furniture are on display at Romanian Peasant during April 7-9.
Bucharesters and tourists can also buy traditional products from the Palm Sunday Fair held in the courtyards of the Agriculture Ministry this weekend.
The traditional Palm Sunday Pilgrimage will be held today on the route starting from Radu Voda Monastery ay 4 p.m. to the Patriarchal Cathedral.