Here in Romania we’re getting ready for the Orthodox Easter. Many religious people fast, go to church often, and get the Eucharist on the Sunday before Easter, which is usually called in English Palm Sunday. Over here it’s more like Willow Sunday, for the date palm that the crowd threw into Jesus’s path when he entered Jerusalem one week before his Resurrection has been substituted here in Romania for branches of the willow tree. People take them into church on Palm Sunday to be sanctified. I’m reading that in other countries people use olive branches or yew branches. This is all very interesting to me, how traditions are adapted.
In fact, speaking of adaptations, what we also celebrate here on Palm Sunday, which we call Duminica Floriilor, or, simply, Florii, are all the women who bear flower names, such as Camelia (camellia, which gave Camille in English), Florica (which means “(little) flower” in Romanian) and Florin or Florian (its male versions), Florentina (another name derived from “flower”), Violeta (violet), Viorel and Viorica (male and female names derived from “viorea” meaning viola), Crina (female name meaning “lily”) or Iris.