Palm Sunday marks Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. On the previous day – Saturday – Jesus Christ raised Lazar from the dead. The holiday is named after the resurrected Lazar (St. Lazar’s Day).
Traditionally, on St. Lazar’s Day from 6 to 7 lassies walk around the town/village. They perform a variety of customs connected to the holiday. Most often they sing praises to all the family members. It is believed that a house visited by the young ladies (also known in Bulgaria as ‘lazarki’) will have good luck throughout the whole year.
Everyone takes one and brings it home as it is a widely spread belief that these twigs not only bring health and happiness, but can also heal a diseased person.
The willow twigs symbolize the palm trees placed on the ground by the people as Jesus entered Jerusalem. He came into the town on a donkey back and the believers put their own clothes as well on the ground.
Usually, families go to church on Palm Sunday and take a couple of twigs. Then, a willow twig is weaved into a wreath and placed on a child’s head for health.
Some of the most beautiful churches in Plovdiv are part of the Free Plovdiv Tour . If you are in Bulgaria during Palm Sunday you can carry your wreath on the way of the tour 🙂
Palm Sunday is also celebrated as a Name Day for people who carry the name of a flower, plant, tree or other form of vegetation. The holiday is also called ‘Tsvetnitsa’ in Bulgaria which means ‘Flower Day’.
You can learn more about the holiday on our Cultural Tour HERE