Easter palm binding traditions in the Vilnius region

Mar 27 - Apr 05

A traditional Easter palm (known as verbos in Lithuanian) is a bunch made of willow, birch, pussy-willow and juniper branches, that is then blessed in churches across Lithuania on Easter Sunday, since the old days. However, besides the traditional Easter palm, unique versions of the Vilnius palm are being created for the second century now, artistically composed by securing dried flowers and herbs around a hazel stem. They have been sold around Vilnius churches since the XIX century and are an integral part of Palm Sunday. And why do we need them? For most, these palms are a beautiful symbol of Easter, as well as a very entertaining tradition. See, a week before Easter, on Palm Sunday, we go and get them blessed at a mass, and when we come home- whip one another with them playfully. Planning to do the same? Do not forget to recite this chant: “The palm is beating, not me! Let’s all have fun this day in a week!”. True, the older generation take Easter palms very seriously. The blessed palms are tucked into a beam of a room or the attic, to protect the home from hardships, fires and natural disasters. And up to this day, at times of thunder, they burn the juniper from the palm or draw crosses in air with it towards the sky. Want an Easter palm for a souvenir? Visit the humming Vilnius St. Kazimir’s Fair in March. There you will find lots of interesting things, pace a great number of steps and discover the most beautiful Easter palms.

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