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Cvetnitsa (The flowers day)

Cvetnitsa (The flowers day)
On the Sunday before Easter Sunday when Christians commemorate Jesus Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem through a crowd waving palm branches, Bulgarians also celebrate the so called “Flower Sunday” to welcome spring and close the cycle of adolescent girls’ vernal rites.
In the early morning housewives put willow branches on their front doors and after the solemn blessing of water performed in churches consecrated flowers and willow branches are put before the home icon.
According to folk tradition willow is the first plant hailing the coming spring after the winter. It protects against curses, it also protects grain from hail.
The so called lazarki perform the rite of kumichene – adolescent girls throw objects such as bunches of flowers, willow branches or ritual breads into a river.
The girl whose flower wreath or ritual bread floats ahead of the rest of the objects is named Kumitsa and is treated with great respect during the holiday.
At the end of the day participants in the celebration dance a circle folk dance called lazarsko horo.  
According to popular belief vines shall not be trimmed on Willow Sunday, as that will prevent them from bearing fruit during the year
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