It's not quite a food product, but it is a use of a forest (more or less) product, so I wanted to take note of Willow Sunday--what I grew up calling Palm Sunday. Palms aren't exactly common in Ukraine, so somewhere along the way, they were replaced by willow branches--and more specifically, by bunches of pussy willows, sold outside of churches.
Each vendor has wrapped up bunches of pussy willows in their own way. Some are fully open, others are combined with bits of greenery, and still others are just twigs. Some are tied with ribbon, others just gathered together. Purchasers spend a great deal of time in conversation contemplating the purchase of this simple, yet beautiful bouquet. Easter was earlier this year than last, so I wondered if the willows would be ready--somehow they were, and when I was in the mountains last week, after Willow Sunday, I noticed that willows were already leafing out.
What do you do with your bunch of willows? Take them to church to have them blessed, and then, stroll around the city with your family. And in this post, just a few of the vendors and Kyiv's citizens celebrating the day between St. Michael's and St. Sophia.