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Palm Sunday, Vilnius

Monday, March 26, 2012

Šiek tiek nusižengsiu tradicijai pagrindinius tekstus rašyti lietuviškai ir parašysiu anglų kalba. Vienas iš mano internetinio kelionių dienoraščio tikslų yra garsinti savo šalį užsienyje, o ten, kaip žinia, lietuviškai nelabai kas moka :-) Be to, reportažo tema yra Verbų Sekmadienis, apie kurį Lietuvoje gimus ir augus visi žinom. Šis post‘as yra šviečiamaisiais renginio tikslais, o po savaitės jis bus papildytas ir renginio nuotraukomis. J. Kudirka „Vilniaus verbos“ man padėjo parengti tekstuką.

A little deviation from the Lithuanian language posts in order to do some courtesy for an international traveller. This post aims to promote a unique day in Lithuania and if one has a strong traveller spirit and love for tradition-it is worthwhile to come to Lithuania next Sunday, 1st of April. And no, it is not for All Fool‘s Day.
The Sunday before Easter is called Palm Sunday. According to the Holy Bible, it is the day of Jesus glorious entrance to Jerusalem. Originally, Lithuania was a pagan country and plants which sprouted earliest were honored during spring feasts. When Christianity was established in Lithuania, palms “verbos” were consecrated in church. The ancient tradition of whipping each other with palms still exists, when, having returned home with consecrated palms, one whips the head, back shoulders of those who stayed home, chanting different chants like “illness out, health return". Ancient writings dating back to 1573 say that in order to protect from devils and thunder, crosses were made from the consecrated palms and were thrust behind doors, windows and gates. Palms were nailed to beehives so that bees would swarm in great numbers. Before animals were let out of barns in the spring, they were incensed with a burning palm.
Today palms “verbos” have become Palm Sunday tokens. Only 15 villages around Vilnius city make them. The fame of palms started when in 1847 a famous painter K. Ruseckas painted a young girl with palms in her arms.


Source: http://lt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbos
  The origin of palms of Vilnius has not been determined but it is likely to have started as ancient Vilnius trade guilds' processional adornments, manufactured re-staging Jesus' entry into Jerusalem.  About thirty different plants are used to make palms; the making begins the day after Shrove Tuesday and continues till Palm Sunday.
Today one can find modern palms made of different material rather than plants and the size can be from as small as an inch to as big as a person. There are two days in a year one can buy palms: the first one is usually at St. Casimir’s fair, that takes place 1-4 March and the second one is Palm Sunday, which is the Sunday before Easter. One must not forget to take their palm to church for consecration. I always miss the Mass –too many people crowd a place and I often feel faint- but I pop in later in the afternoon. I think that’s an intention that counts, right?
I will put up my photos from the event in a week’s time and meanwhile maybe you can go and check out maybe there’s a cheap flight to Vilnius for that weekend?
.
I look forward to welcoming you in Vilnius!

  Kūtvėla

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