© 2022 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
All of us at Buffalo Toronto Public Media are heartbroken by the senseless tragedy that occurred in our great City on Saturday, May 14th. We are grieving with our community and are committed to helping it heal. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families, friends, and the employees and customers of Tops Friendly Markets.
Local

Pussy willows are a symbol of Easter

pussy-willows_0.jpg

Christians are gathering this Easter Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter marks one of the holiest day on the Christian calendar. Spring flowers are a symbol of the Easter season and as WBFO's Eileen Buckley reports so is the Pussy Willow and a Polish tradition.

"The pussy willow is the one that tells the rest of the world and all the other flora, trees and bushes it's time to wake up.  It's the wake up call," said Father Czeslaw Krysa, rector of St. Casimir's Church in Buffalo and director of Worship for the Diocese of Buffalo.

"The Pussy Willow is also our Easter symbol.  One of the most prominent Easter symbols, because of the fact out of this dry, kind of twig all of a sudden bursts forth this beautiful flower of life, and it is the first bush that blooms," said Father Krysa.

Christians use palms as a church symbol of greeting Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem.  But in the Polish tradition, you will also see pussy willow branches on Palm Sunday. According to Polish legend, Jesus visited a forest on Palm Sunday, barren by winter conditions, and commanded His angels to gather up pussy willows -- with soft, cotton buds, the first blooms of spring.

Father Krysa said in the Polish community Holy week is called the "Great Week" leading to Easter Sunday, which  Christians believe is the resurrection of Christ.  

But the day after Easter pussy willows are put to use one more time during the Polish celebration known as Dyngus Day.  It's a celebration marking the end of 40 days of Lenten sacrifice.