As of today, until Sunday, master artisans from all over the country will gather to celebrate Palm Sunday at the Romanian Peasant’s Museum.
Potters, ironsmiths, carvers, skinners, confectioners, ladle-makers, icon-painters, as well as weavers and egg-painters, will tempt us with wooden artefacts, ceramics, weavings, toys, musical instruments, jewellery, finely decorated eggs, painted furniture and icons.
You may also choose from a range of delicacies: apple juice, Teleorman sweetmeats, Harghita sweetbread, kürtös kalács, halva, Topoloveni plum jam, honey and royal jelly, pollen and propolis, healing herbs, Bihor palinka and wine, and Lenten dishes at the Peasant’s Club.
Visitors will be able to watch egg-decorating demonstrations. The fair also hosts a pottery workshop – pots, dishes and jugs will be spun into shape on the potter’s wheel by folk craftsman Jorj Dimitriu -, a bookbinding workshop with bookbinder Razvan Supuran, and a Moldavian naïve painting exhibition, displaying the works of folk masters Ioan Maric and Gheorghe Ciobanu, at the Peasant’s Club.
Palm Sunday is celebrated on the last Sunday before Easter. It marks the end of Lent, as well as the regeneration of nature. On Palm Sunday, people go to church to bless willow branches, which they hang at the windows, doors and gates. In some parts of the country, the peasants girdle themselves with willow branches, a ritual believed to protect them from disease and make them stronger. At the same time, willow branches are said to defend the home from harm and mishaps. On Palm Sunday, the women go to church and clean the ancestors’ graves, hanging willow branches onto the crosses.
On the same occasion, the Martisor thread is hung unto a tree in bloom, along with new clothes and young girls’ dowries. As a feast that marks nature’s rebirth, its meaning is attributed to elements in daily life as well. In some regions, the maidens lay basil under their pillow, on Palm Sunday night, for beauty and good health and to make them more attractive to male suitors, so they can find a husband in the year in progress. In Wallachia, people do not wash their hair on Palm Sunday, the day when all trees are in bloom, for fear one’s hair will turn white, as the blossoms on the trees.
In religious terms, Palm Sunday marks Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. People eat fish on that day. According to popular belief, the weather on Palm Sunday announces what the weather will be like on Easter.
The fair at MTR is open between 10am and 6pm.
Address: 3 Kiseleff Blvd.