Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast which always falls on the Sunday before Easter Sunday. The feast commemorates an event mentioned by all four Canonical Gospels Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19: the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before his Passion. It is also called Passion Sunday or Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion.
Floriile or Duminica Floriilor (the Palm Sunday) open to all Romanian the Easter cycle, which ends once the Ascension of Jesus (40 days after Easter). Evoking the entering of Jesus into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, welcomed with a lot of flowers and cheers, Palm Sunday is both a celebration in which the pre-Christian and Christian elements combine happily, resulting in extremely beautiful customs and traditions. It is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the liturgical year, and is the beginning of Holy Week.
The day before is known as Lazarus Saturday, and commemorates the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead. On this day, is known the Lăzărelul tradition, a practice that recalls the ancient god of vegetation that died and reborn at the beginning of each spring.
The name of the feast in Romanian (Florii) comes from the Roman goddess Flora. The green branches used this day, employed both in domestic and church rituals, embodies the symbol of chastity and the annual rebirth of vegetation, a fitomorphe substitute of the goddess. The day before people gather willow branches, tie them in bundles and go to church to be sanctified by a priest. After sanctification, the branches called 'mâţişori' (approx. 'kitties') are taken home by the faithful 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. The beekeepers go around the beehives with those willow branches, and the villagers do the same with their cattle - rituals of fertility.
Another belief said that how weather is like on Palm Sunday, so will be on Easter Day. On this day celebrate the name-day those who bear a flower name (around 1.5 million Romanians).
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