Polish Toledo

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Palm Sunday in Poland

From Radio Polskie External Service 4-1-07

Today Polish Catholics celebrate Palm Sunday. From early morning the faithful have been attending mass at their parish churches with decorative palms.

The tradition of blessing willow branches with catkins decorated with greenery on Palm Sunday made its way to Poland from Jerusalem in the Middle Ages. It is a symbolic commemoration of Christ's triumphal arrival to Jerusalem, where he obtained a royal welcome with flowers, palm leaves and general exultation. For some time, the scene of his arrival was traditionally performed in Poland, and the figure of Jesus was driven to churches on a cart. This tradition has survived to the modern times only in the locality of Tokarnia, in the south, where a procession is organized with palm leaves and Christ's figure. In other villages of the southern Karpaty region, several-meter-long willow branches decorated with tissue paper and ribbons are blessed on Easter Sunday. In another part of Poland, the mid-northern Kurpie region, the tradition of conducting processions with huge majestic stakes carved from pines wrapped with moss, springs, cranberries and flowers is still observed.

The oldest contest for the longest, or actually tallest Sunday palm is held in Lipnica. Last year’s record palm measured 30 meters and 30 centimeters, that’s well over 90 feet!

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At 5:32 AM , Blogger Hooda Thunkit said...

Whatever happened to all of those processions here?

Sometimes it is good to bring back the old ways and customs, but not the ones like the tasteless "Americanized" paczki. . .


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