Palm Sunday in Romania

Palm Sunday or Florii (In Romanian) is a Christian tradition that always takes place on the Sunday before Easter.

Floriile or Duminica Floriilor (the Palm Sunday) is celebrated by all Romanians, and it announces the beginning of Easter cycle, which ends with the Ascension of Jesus (40 days after Easter).  Jesus is welcomed with a lot of flowers and cheers while enters Jerusalim. Palm Sunday is both a celebration in which the pre-Christian and Christian elements combine happily, resulting beautiful customs and traditions. It is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the liturgical year, and is the beginning of Holy Week.

The name of the feast in Romanian (Florii) comes from the Roman goddess Flora. The green branches called ‘mâţişori’ (kitties) are used as a ritual which embodies the symbol of chastity and the annual rebirth of vegetation. The day before people gather willow branches, they tie them in bundles and go to church to be sanctified by a priest. After sanctification the ‘mâţişori’ are taken home to adorn with the icons, windows, doors, entrances to sheds or to put in wells and the eaves of houses. The women stick them on newly seeded layers, put them into animal feed or on the graves.

Also, on this day, all who bear a flower name are celebrating their name-day.