Palm Sunday or Willow Sunday
Today is Palm Sunday for Orthodox Christians. In the Ukrainian church we call it "Willow Sunday". Since palms were not available in Ukraine, willow branches were blessed during the service. I remember that at the end of the service the parishioners would greet each other by tapping one another lightly on the shoulders three times and saying, "The willow taps you, not I, in a week it is Easter." (Verba bye, ne ya byu, za tyzhdyn Velykden) Of course as children, I remember really taking great pleasure whacking all my playmates and chasing about the church grounds -- we all did. A happy and blessed Palm or Willow Sunday to all my Orthodox friends and readers.