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PALM SUNDAY

In ancient times, palm branches symbolized goodness and victory: Palm Sunday falls on the Sunday before Easter, it is the beginning of Catholic Holy Week, and it celebrates Jesus' journey into Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.

The earliest mention of Palm Sunday as a celebration is found in the Sacramentary of the Bobbio Abbey (Abbazia di San Colombano) in the province of Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna, at the beginning of the eighth century.

In Catholic churches, Palm Sunday is marked by the distribution of palm leaves, blessed by the priest, to the worshippers. Since it isn’t easy to find palms in central and northern Italy, they are often replaced with branches from olive trees, a symbol of peace.

In the United States, and in some Italian regions, palm fronds are sometimes shaped and woven into little crosses and other religious symbols typical of Easter.

Palm leaves and olive branches are kept in the home to bring peace to the family throughout the year and they are usually attached to a crucifix, an icon, or secured to the wall. They are also shared with dear friends and family who do not have one.

Since 1586, in Sanremo and Bordighera, people make the traditional “parmureli”, manually weaved palm leaves compositions. Over 2000 parmureli are distributed in St. Peter's Square to the people present for the Pope’s blessing on Palm Sunday; 100 one-meter long parmureli are given to the Cardinals and the highest and greatest is reserved for the Pope.

The official melodies for the liturgical chanting of the Passion sung during Palm Sunday Mass are among the most impressive examples of Gregorian Chants.

"L'olivo benedetto vuol trovar pulito e netto" (the blessed olive wants to find all clean and neat) is a proverb to remind you that it is time for Spring cleaning!

IMAGES:
http://sanremo.ponenteoggi.it/categorie/leggi-articolo/argomento/sanremo-in-fiore/articolo/capitan-

http://www.italiannotebook.com/events/palm-sunday/