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Palm Sunday
*Fish and Palm Crosses are traditions of Palm Sunday (Image by Greek City Times- Copyright)

The Feast of Palm Sunday, commemorates Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the Resurrection of Lazarus, as these two feasts are linked.

Today at church, we are given bay leaves and woven palm crosses, which are placed in baskets in front of the icon of the Lord. The palms are then distributed to the faithful.

Many also believe that bay leaves blessed on Palm Sunday and later burnt could restore health to those that had fallen sick and also safeguard the health of farm animals.

On Palm Sunday, Greeks worldwide also consume fish, even though it is still Sarakosti (40 days of Lent).

Today, the Greek Orthodox Church allows the faithful to consume fish, oil, and wine but not dairy products, eggs, chicken and red meat.

In Ancient times, on Palm Sunday, palms were given to people in the shape of the moon, ships, donkeys, but the most common was the Cross.

In many places they were also given in the shape of a fish, as fish is seen as one of the earliest symbols of Christianity and the first Christians used the word “IXTHIS” (Ancient Greek word for fish), which is said to be derived from Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

ΙΧΘΥΣ – Ιησούς Χριστός Θεού Υιός Σωτήρ.

Today, you will also hear children singing-

«Βάγια, Βάγια των βαγιών, τρώνε ψάρι και κολιό, κι ως την άλλη Κυριακή με το κόκκινο αυγό!»

Kyriaki ton Vayion, Palm Sunday


GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.

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