Palms for Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday in Mallorca
Palms for Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday

Palm fronds from Elche, location of the biggest palm grove in Europe, are covered from sunlight to whiten them and then dried and braided into elaborate shapes. The braiding is done by nuns. On Palm Sunday, they are blessed by priests wearing red vestments to symbolise the blood shed on the Cross, and sprinkled with Holy Water.

Every year, the palms from the preceding year are burned to provide the ashes to sprinkle on the heads of penitents on Ash Wednesday.

Parishioners carry their fronds home where they are placed over the door or on balconies to prevent the entry of evil spirits. Similarly, the fronds from the previous year are burned and the smoke allowed to permeate the house with its protective powers.

In some parishes, the priest goes from house to house blessing the salt and the water. Traditionally, he was paid in eggs (their eating being proscribed during Lent). Once blessed the water is sprinkled around doors and windows to keep away evil spirits.

In Palma there is a Mass in the cathedral attended by a large number of the clergy from all over the Island and the Bishop of Mallorca blesses the new sacramental oils, from Bunyola, for the coming year.

Carnival and Lenten Customs
Funeral of the Sardine
Holy Week