Easter Sunday in 2019 falls on April 21, but a week before people are already preparing for Easter holiday. Sunday before Easter in Croatia is called „Cvjetnica“ after flowers, because cvijet means flower, even though people this day officially call „Sunday palms“. There is a story to it. When Jesus was entering Jerusalem people were greeting him with branches of palm trees and olive branches, that’s why today they are symbols of his grand entrance to Jerusalem. Unfortunately the celebration didn’t last long because Jesus was crucified and killed in the end. In his honor many people are going today to Jerusalem, but in Croatia this first Sunday before Easter we go to the church to bless olive branches and than we take them home and put them on a visable place in the room. This week “The Great week” until Easter Sunday we respect and remember the pain of Jesus, especially the Great Friday. Those who practise religion are in great severity and compassion.
I had a city tour of Zagreb on Cvjetnica and there were many locals going in and out to the cathedral in Zagreb. My group asked me what was happening (I had a group from Korea) and I explained our custom, after the city tour I went to bless olive branches myself for my mother as I know it would make her happy since she is not in Zagreb at the moment.