I seem to remember that last year I didn't share any of the Polish Easter traditions, probably because it was so cold and icy, spring rituals were unthinkable. I made a mental note to talk a bit about Easter this year, and by some miraculous twist of memory, I remembered in time to share a few things.
Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, Polish palms are like nothing I ever saw before. The are made of wheat stalks, sometimes dyed in bright colors, and sometimes woven together with dry flowers. You can find palms only a few inches long, or several feet long. Each year, a Catholic family carries a palm to church on Palm Sunday (we saw lots of folks walking around with them last week), and it is blessed by a priest. The palm is then kept in the home for the next year, and is superstitiously supposed (by some folks) to be a talisman for luck and health.
Of course, along with this general tradition, there always people who ambitiously make taller and taller palms every year, like this one, that takes a good number of folks to raise upright.
Of course, they don't bear much resemblance to the palm leaves that come from real palm trees, or the palm leaves that were strewn in Jesus' path as he entered Jerusalem for the Passover, hailed as the King. But authenticity isn't always possible. There are no palms in Poland, but there has always been a lot of wheat.