Monday, 18 April 2011

Paris Eye 19/30 - Palm Sunday sans palm


Whilst 'flaneuring' in Place Baudoyer, behind the L'Hotel de Ville this morning, I was unexpectedly inundated by a tidal wave of people bearing branches, and coming at me in peace. A quick check of my trusty map, assured me that around the next corner was Eglise Saint Gervais.


Knowing it was Palm Sunday (as with our PM, I am an atheist but not totally devoid of bible learning), I wondered what the branch was. It was certainly not a palm frond. Could it have been a branch from a Box tree or a Laurel bush? I have googled, but am none the wiser.

Many Parisians went about their week-ending worship of the sun, either in Place de Vosges or the Jardin du Palais Royal.

19 comments:

RedPat said...

Curious! Wonder what it is.

Jack said...

I haven't checked your blog for a few weeks and didn't know I would get the treat of seeing Parisian Eye. Great posts. Enjoy your visit.

J Bar said...

Quite curious to know more.

karen said...

I found a suggestion that it might be hyssop, but it's not a plant I'm familiar with, so I don't know for sure.

Dina said...

My nun friends always take branches from their olive trees into Jerusalem for the Palm Sunday procession. But yours are not olives and not palms. The mystery leaves!

Thanks for taking us with to Paris.

Julie said...

Dina, I canvassed an olive branch too, but they are not olive leaves. i

Karen: I will check out hyssop.

There is a chap who knows much about Paris with whom I am in touch. I will see if he knows anything.

Julie said...

Don't think it is hyssop, Karen. That looks more like rosemary. My branch is woodier ... more like an English Box but with larger leaves.

Peter said...

It's a Buxus branch, since there are not many palms in the northern hemisphere. The Buxus is dipped in Holy water to bless 'the people'.

Julie said...

OO oo oo ... you are a font of knowledge (*grin*) Peter. Thank you so much. I was thinking along those lines, but had no confirmation.

Peter said...

I'm happy to see that another Peter was able to give the name of the branches (rameaux) that replace the palm ones for the French version of the Palm Sunday, the Dimanche des Rameaux.

Peter said...

Whew, glad that mystery is solved! Nice detective work Peter.

Joan Elizabeth said...

There are an awful lot of Peter's commenting today ... and now the mystery has been solved that conversation will peter out I guess. The greenery in the top shot looks like celery.

Peter said...

@Joan Elizabeth, maybe she had a Bloody Mary stashed in her bag too! ;)

uncertainhorizon said...

Very interesting. I do love how the branch stands out in the photo... would love to know the meaning behind that particular branch and palm sunday though.

Virginia said...

The deux Peters are always on it! I was clueless. Our palms that we use aren't grown here but are bought at the local floral wholesaler. I featured our ladies making palm crosses on my B'ham blog on Sat. We were treated to the little ones coming up and down the aisles with their palm fronds on Sunday as well.
V

Peter said...

@Virginia, it's even worse... the're 3 Peter's writing!

I think the Buxus branches are widely available, I know that they also use them in Belgium and Germany. Not that much in the Netherlands because most people stopped going to church after 'some wise words' from the late Pope didn't go down well in this country.

Julie said...

Indeed,a plethora of peters ... and each one mightily welcome.

However, I had to *groan* at Joan's play on words. Well done, m'dear!!

Stafford Ray said...

Thanks for the photos Julie, and as for the greenery, the first one looks like celery to me. Nevertheless, the French seem less in need of packaging than we Aussies do!

Julie said...

Oops that is two of you who now have said that the first photo looks more like celery. So I got nervous. But ... do go and enlarge it, and you will see that it is indeed 'bruxus' ... phew!!