The Sunday of holy week is called so, because “after Vaia and branches” became the reception of Christ in Jerusalem Christ enters the city without the royal luxury, sitting on a sell-out, instead of rose petals and ceremonies, the young children shake the jars of palm trees, instead of being welcomed by the political and religious leaders of the place.
Characteristic custom of the day is the decoration of churches with vases, while after the service the priest blesses and gives to the faithful crosses of vases, which we put in the icons or wherever we need protection.
In the photos from the holy church of Panagia Nafplio and the holy church of the Holy Trinity where from the eve of the Bays, women gather and cut the vases and prepare them for the feast.
On The Sunday of Vaia it is customary to eat fish.
Christ enters Jerusalem “on a sell-by-one”. He is marching and the Israelites welcome him with honors as King. He does not pay much attention to the honors, he is not limited to the feast, to the temporary glory, but proceeds to the cross and the Resurrection.
The entrance of Christ to Jerusalem is ultimately the entrance of martyrdom into the earthly life of the Lord.
In a few days he will testify and be killed on the cross, to kill death and spare life.
On the Sunday of Vaia, in memory of Christ’s triumphant entrance to Jerusalem, all the church is decorate with branches of vases, palm trees or other winning plants, such as laurel, willow, myrtle and olive. After the service they share in the faithful.
Our church established this custom as early as the 9th century, since, as the Evangelist Ioannis says, “a lot of… the palm trees were shining and they came out to them.”
In the early Christian years, in Jerusalem, the bishop entered the city “on the other hand”, representing the event, while in Byzantine it became “the emperor’s walk”, from the Palace to the Great Church.
On this route the emperor distributed to the world vases and crosses and the Patriarch crosses and candles. With the vases the believers decorated the walls of the houses and their iconostasis. And today still all churches are decorate with daffoils or vases.
In their earlier years they were supplied by the newly married couples of the year or only the newly married women, for the sake of their marriage. They believed that the fertilizing power that these plants hide would be transferred to them, and one would hit the other with the jars.
The “bayo-knocks” slowly began to be done by the other women and children imitated them and as they beat each other they wished: “And next year, don’t get the nose.” Healing and dissuasive forces, together with the fertilizers, were attributed to the vagias and that’s why after the church everything had to be “baged” for good. Trees, pervolia, vine, stanes, animals, mills, boats.
From a twig they hung on the fruit trees, so they could fruit in the vegetables, so that the worm wouldn’t catch them. “Inside vases and joys, out fleas, corners!” Everything disappeared from the houses as soon as the jars came in. They held the first place in the iconostasis and with them the women “smoked” the children for the “evil eye”. In Lesvos the children, after the church, decorated a bale of laurel branches with red or green cloths from a new dress, hung a bell and as they went from house to house chanting and saying exorcisms about fleas and mice, they also gave a laurel twig to the housewife.
In the end, they asked for their gift: “Happy Birthday, in the name of the Lord, give me the egg to leave.”
First on the way back, first at the dance and in her own house, her mother would make the beans and kiss them all, along with olives.
In Tinos, on the Sunday of Vaia, the children took to the streets holding with their wreath the “arginara”, a wooden or even iron rockana that was twisted with force. In deafening noise they ended up in the sea, where they were thrown into the wreath in the water.
The custom of the circumference of the branches is reminiscent of the “eresion”, the fruited branch, which in the spring holidays the children roamed the streets, in antiquity. The vases were involved in many designs: moons, ships, donkeys, but the most common was the cross.
In some places they gave the shape of fish. Fish had as a sign of recognition the first Christians, the word IXTHYS, after all, comes from the initials Jesus Christ God Son Savior.