Tsvetnitsa: the Orthodox Palm Sunday

Today, a week before Easter, the Bulgarian Orthodox church celebrates Tsvetnitsa known in the Western world like Palm Sunday.

‘Tsvetnitsa’ comes from the Bulgarian word for flower ‘tsvete’ and the day is widely associated with blossoming spring flowers.

On this day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey greeted and welcomed with palm and olive leaves.

Traditionally, everyone is attending the Sunday sermon on Tsvetnitsa, leaving flowers in the church and taking some sanctified willow palms from the priest.

The palms need to be taken home and left by the icon until the next Tsvetnitsa to protect the house and its inhabitants from illnesses, misfortunes and evil spirits.

On Tsvetnitsa name day celebrate everyone who is named after a flower or tree.

The long list of consists of names such as Violeta (violet), Detelina (clover), Jasmina (jasmine), Zyumbyul (hyacinth), Kameliya (camellia), Karamfil (carnation), Liliya (lily), Magnoliya (magnolia), Malina (raspberry), Margarit or Margarita (daisy),  Neven (calendula), Roza (rose), Yasmina (jasmine) and all the names originating from the word ‘flower’ itself like Tsvetan, Tsvetelina and Tsveta.

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Photos: Denitsa Dimova

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