• on 5th April, 2020

Palm Sunday of an Irish Yester-year

A little glimpse of the forgotten history of the people of Ireland and their relationship with God….





Palm Sunday, Kilkenny

‘On Palm Sunday, palm is blessed in all the churches and distributed to the people during the masses by the altar-boys. Everybody is anxious to get a piece of it which he reverently kisses on receipt thereof. The palm is really a branch of the yew tree.

Men and women wear the palm during the day. Some wear it in their coats, others in their hats as they do on St. Patrick’s Day with the shamrock.
In the houses the blessed palm is hung up behind pictures where it sometimes remains until the following Palm Sunday. Farmers hang some of it in the outhouses as a protection for cattle. Nobody throws away palm, as “it is not right”. People say it should always be burned when not required or when it is taken down from “behind the pictures” on the walls.
There is a tradition that if blessed palm is burned on a saucer during thunder or lightning the house and its occupants will be protected from “all harm and danger”. Some country people say that if a calf is born on Palm Sunday unless the sign of the cross is made over him with blessed palm he will not grow any bigger.

A baby girl born between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday should be called “Esther” to bring a blessing on the family.’


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