March 19, 2013

Polish Fable About Pussy Willows

On Sunday, almost every Christian denomination will celebrate Palm Sunday.  Palms are not available in every country, so other traditions were adopted. 

In Poland, Spring weather doesn't usually start until late April, so they developed their own tradition for Easter palms. Since Poland doesn't have palms native to Jerusalem, they carry pussy willow branches. 

On Ash Wednesday, they will cut the branches of pussy willows bring them into the house where it is warm, and place them in a vase with water until they bud.


In the Polish Catholic Church, the willow (Polish: wierzba) symbolizes the resurrection and the immortality of the soul.

Here is a Polish fable about the pussy willow.

Many springs ago, according to an old Polish legend, tiny kittens were chasing butterflies along the edge of the river and fell in.  The mother cat, helpless to save them, started crying.  The willows at the river's edge heard her sorrowful cries and swept their long, graceful branches into the water towards the kittens.  The kittens gripped the branches tightly and were safely brought to shore.

Each springtime since, goes the legend, willow branches sprout tiny fur like buds where the tiny kittens once clung.

5 comments:

  1. I have never heard that legend before. Love it. And what a sweet picture. :-)

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  2. I loved that you shared this story.

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  3. How very neat! I'll have to share that story.

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