What is an easter palm?
Learn how to make an easter palm
Learn how to make an easter palm
Easter palms are traditionally used in Catholic celebrations during Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter. To commemorate Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, people bring palm fronds to be blessed in the church and then walk with their palms in a procession. Palm Sunday is also called Passion Sunday, or Care Sunday.
Other countries celebrate Palm Sunday in different ways. For example, in Italy, where palm trees are less common than in Israel, olive branches are used in the solemn procession on Palm Sunday.
In Poland and neighbouring countries, where neither palms nor olive trees are popular, other customs have sprouted. Polish people cut twigs of poplar, willow or raspberry on Ash Wednesday, and braid them into palms. The willow is one of the trees that blooms the earliest in Spring. Because of being early bloomers, willows are an important Christian symbol for resurrection and for the immortality of the soul.
Blessed palms used on Palm Sunday are often taken home, where they're supposed to protect the house and the farmyard.
Today, Easter palms are still made of willow branches and decorated with colourful flowers. These flowers can either be real dried flowers or fake flowers made out of tissue paper. Folk artists specialize in creating palms, treating them as a craft that ensures their livelihood.
Some artisanal families specialize in the production of palms and dedicate their entire lives to this activity. Starting from sowing the appropriate cereals, grasses and flowers, and then picking, drying, and dyeing their crops to produce and sell their unique palms. The Kurpie region, in Polish Mazovia, didn't have the right conditions to grow the needed flowers and cereals to create easter palms. Therefore the Kurpie region adopted the cultural tradition of creating particularly distinctive paper flowers and decorative palms for Palm Sunday. Every year on Palm Sunday in Łyse, in Kurpie, competitions are held for the tallest and most beautiful palm.
To get started with your own Kurpie-style easter Palm, you'll need some necessary material: crêpe paper, thin (satay) sticks, scissors, pencils, glue and fine wire or strong thread.
Choose the colour of crêpe paper from which you will create your Kurpie palm and decide on the type of flowers you'd like to make. These can be small crocuses, larger roses, or any other flowers that you can imagine. Once you've made your decision, start following the instructions for cutting your chosen paper accordingly.
Fold your cut crêpe paper at the edge to arrange the flower petals nicely. Then properly roll up a strip of tissue paper to form a flower.
Once you have prepared enough flowers for your palm, you can start to arrange them around your satay stick. Start the composition from the top. Each element (flower or leaf) applied to the stick should be immediately attached (wrapped) with a thin wire or strong thread.
It might take a while to get the hang of cutting, folding and attaching your flowers, but after a while you should have acquired some new skills, and most importantly, a hand-made Kurpie palm!
The palm you made is more or less comparable to the Kurpie craftsman's products available for sale. However, if you are not satisfied with your product or would like to have more palms, you can buy them at the stands or play with creating Kurpie palms at home.