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Making kulichi at the end of Great Lent

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#1 Constantine

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 01:56 AM

Christ is in our midst!

I should like to make a kulich for Pascha. Finding kulichi recipies is not difficult. My family and I are vegan, however, and I am curious to learn if there is any such thing as a vegan kulich recipe. Yes, I realize egg-less kulichi (a kulich made with, say, egg replacer) is an oxymoron and seemingly defeats the purpose of making a kulich. But I am curious just the same. I would be very grateful for any recipies for a kulich that at least doesn't include a dozen eggs. ; )

Thanks in advance!

With every good wish for you all during Great Lent, I am,

Yours in Christ,
Constantine

#2 Olga

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 02:28 AM

With respect, Constantine, you'd be hard-pressed to find an eggless, milkless, butterless kulich recipe. Substituting oil for the butter won't work, neither soy for milk, and then there's the yeast, which some vegans won't eat either. As for recipes using a dozen eggs, this simply means that several kulichi can be made from one batch of dough. Nobody I know ever makes just one kulich. It would be like dyeing only one egg per member of your immediate family.

The richness of kulich, like the richness of sirnaya pascha (the Easter cream cheese dessert), is symbolic of the breaking of the Lenten fast. Both these are celebratory sweets, made once a year, with effort, and with love, and in anticipation of Pascha. Pascha and Bright Week is the most festive time of the Church calendar, the "Queen and Mistress of feasts". So, dare I say, follow the advice of St John Chrysostom in his wonderful Paschal sermon:

If anyone is devout and a lover of God, let him enjoy this beautiful and radiant festival.
If anyone is a wise servant, let him, rejoicing, enter into the joy of his Lord.
If anyone has wearied himself in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.
If anyone has labored from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If anyone has come at the third hour, with thanksgiving let him keep the feast. If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; for he shall suffer no loss. If anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near without hesitation. If anyone has arrived even at the eleventh hour, let him not fear on account of his delay. For the Master is gracious and receives the last, even as the first; he gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, just as to him who has labored from the first. He has mercy upon the last and cares for the first; to the one he gives, and to the other he is gracious. He both honors the work and praises the intention.
Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and, whether first or last, receive your reward. O rich and poor, one with another, dance for joy! O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day! You that have fasted and you that have disregarded the fast, rejoice today! The table is rich-laden; feast royally, all of you! The calf is fatted; let no one go forth hungry!
Let all partake of the feast of faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness.
Let no one lament his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn his transgressions, for pardon has dawned from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Saviour's death has set us free.
He that was taken by death has annihilated it! He descended into hades and took hades captive! He embittered it when it tasted his flesh! And anticipating this Isaiah exclaimed, "Hades was embittered when it encountered thee in the lower regions." It was embittered, for it was abolished! It was embittered, for it was mocked! It was embittered, for it was purged! It was embittered, for it was despoiled! It was embittered, for it was bound in chains!
It took a body and, face to face, met God! It took earth and encountered heaven! It took what it saw but crumbled before what it had not seen!
"O death, where is thy sting? O hades, where is thy victory?"
Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen, and life reigns!
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!
For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the First-fruits of them that slept.
To him be glory and might unto ages of ages. Amen.



#3 Nina

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 01:10 PM

Kulichi, kulichi! Here is a cute word!

#4 Paul Cowan

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 05:32 PM

Constantine,

Here are a few recipes from my favorite food site. However as Olga said, they do not meet your vegan requirements.

Paul

#5 Peter S.

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 08:08 PM

The richness of kulich, like the richness of sirnaya pascha (the Easter cream cheese dessert), is symbolic of the breaking of the Lenten fast. Both these are celebratory sweets, made once a year, with effort, and with love, and in anticipation of Pascha. Pascha and Bright Week is the most festive time of the Church calendar, the "Queen and Mistress of feasts". So, dare I say, follow the advice of St John Chrysostom in his wonderful Paschal sermon:

Quotation:
If anyone is devout and a lover of God, let him enjoy this beautiful and radiant festival.
If anyone is a wise servant, let him, rejoicing, enter into the joy of his Lord.
If anyone has wearied himself in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.
If anyone has labored from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If anyone has come at the third hour, with thanksgiving let him keep the feast. If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; for he shall suffer no loss. If anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near without hesitation. If anyone has arrived even at the eleventh hour, let him not fear on account of his delay. For the Master is gracious and receives the last, even as the first; he gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, just as to him who has labored from the first. He has mercy upon the last and cares for the first; to the one he gives, and to the other he is gracious. He both honors the work and praises the intention.
Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and, whether first or last, receive your reward. O rich and poor, one with another, dance for joy! O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day! You that have fasted and you that have disregarded the fast, rejoice today! The table is rich-laden; feast royally, all of you! The calf is fatted; let no one go forth hungry!
Let all partake of the feast of faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness.
Let no one lament his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn his transgressions, for pardon has dawned from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Saviour's death has set us free.
He that was taken by death has annihilated it! He descended into hades and took hades captive! He embittered it when it tasted his flesh! And anticipating this Isaiah exclaimed, "Hades was embittered when it encountered thee in the lower regions." It was embittered, for it was abolished! It was embittered, for it was mocked! It was embittered, for it was purged! It was embittered, for it was despoiled! It was embittered, for it was bound in chains!
It took a body and, face to face, met God! It took earth and encountered heaven! It took what it saw but crumbled before what it had not seen!
"O death, where is thy sting? O hades, where is thy victory?"
Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen, and life reigns!
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!
For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the First-fruits of them that slept.
To him be glory and might unto ages of ages. Amen.

Dear Olga,

The meal St. John Chrysostom is talking about here is mainly the Eucharist I think, and then how fantastic the heavenly meal/meeting will be, that the Eucharist also is a foretaste to.

And I also think it is possible to celebrate Pascha with a vegan kulitchi, although I dont, and dont know how to eventually make it. I eat eggs at Pascha as many others. But two of my sisters I remember didnt like it, and I was a bit angry about it at first. By the way pascha is the best food I know.

Actually St. John Chrysostom is as I ve heard asking in one place about why all the people are celebrating Pascha with such an amount of food and dont continue their habit of modest eating that they were able to do in Lent. In a way I understand him. :)

Lord have mercy.
Peter

#6 Paul Cowan

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 08:44 PM

Christ is in our midst!

I should like to make a kulich for Pascha. Finding kulichi recipies is not difficult. My family and I are vegan, however, and I am curious to learn if there is any such thing as a vegan kulich recipe. Yes, I realize egg-less kulichi (a kulich made with, say, egg replacer) is an oxymoron and seemingly defeats the purpose of making a kulich. But I am curious just the same. I would be very grateful for any recipies for a kulich that at least doesn't include a dozen eggs. ; )

Thanks in advance!

With every good wish for you all during Great Lent, I am,

Yours in Christ,
Constantine


Constantine,

I have been thinking on your vegan challenge. Using this recipe, as they all seem to be pretty much the same, I may have a way around your egg and milk problem. I haven't worked out the ratios but have you ever worked or cooked with tapioca? I have discovered this pearl (get it? Pearl?) of cooking recently and am looking for new ways to use it. Tapioca is a natural thickner or binding agent much as are eggs. When cooked with water, it produces a syrup very similar to milk. You can try baking powder instead of yeast for your leaven.

Chemically the above will work. Palatable is another experiment. Instead of using butter to grease your pan, dust it and the dough ball heavily in flour. For the glaze, use the sugar and remaining tapioca syrup. If you happen to make this before me, let us know how it turns out.

Paul the culinary hobbiest

Edited by Paul Cowan, 24 March 2008 - 01:10 AM.


#7 Olga

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 01:41 AM

I am not at all advocating gluttony at Easter (though this is an all-too-frequent occurrence!), any more than St John does (I can readily imagine him thundering from the pulpit), but I am making the point that Easter is a time of celebration, and part of the celebration is with food which is of the best we can provide, and of that which we have denied ourselves during Great Lent and Holy Week. The Bridegroom is present, therefore there is no cause to fast.

#8 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 08:40 AM

I am not at all advocating gluttony at Easter (though this is an all-too-frequent occurrence!), any more than St John does (I can readily imagine him thundering from the pulpit), but I am making the point that Easter is a time of celebration, and part of the celebration is with food which is of the best we can provide, and of that which we have denied ourselves during Great Lent and Holy Week. The Bridegroom is present, therefore there is no cause to fast.


Regarding gluttony : Olga last week this doctor on TV said that doctors see a lot of patients during Bright Week because after 40 days of fasting from animal products, the first meal is Mayeritsa (Easter soup) after the Resurrection Service (together with red eggs) and then roast baby lamb on Easter Sunday. The stomach and especially the pancreas don't have time to adjust and people get sick - or at the very least feel uncomfortable, if they have overindulged.

Again, we need to emphasize that fasting is not really about the type of food we eat. It is about a lot of things, cleansing our bodies and souls and especially moderation in all things so that none become a passion. One example of moderation is the quantity of food we eat.

Olga, celebrating Easter with joy, celebrating the fact that Christ was resurrected and stamped out the fear of death

Christos Anesti ek nekron, thanaton, thanatos pateisan (death, death he stamped out).......................

is why we celebrate as you so rightly said. But we need to pace ourselves a little regarding the amount of food we consume. I haven't found this a problem though because this time of year friends and family get together and they are all really respectful of each other and all work together to ensure that everyone gets a fair share. In fact, each year, there is so much food left over that I experience guilty feelings knowing that while we are throwing away food, others are dying from hunger.

Effie

#9 Peter S.

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 10:18 PM

I am not at all advocating gluttony at Easter (though this is an all-too-frequent occurrence!), any more than St John does (I can readily imagine him thundering from the pulpit), but I am making the point that Easter is a time of celebration, and part of the celebration is with food which is of the best we can provide, and of that which we have denied ourselves during Great Lent and Holy Week. The Bridegroom is present, therefore there is no cause to fast.


The fast is primary not about food as said.

I didnt mean that you were advocating gluttony, the saying of St. John was a reflection. But I said it is possible to celebrate Pascha with vegan food. For them it is the best they can provide, maybe some of them even would make cakes with eggs as gifts? :) I dont know. Anyway; If you are a vegan, you are a vegan, thats the point.

In fact, each year, there is so much food left over that I experience guilty feelings knowing that while we are throwing away food, others are dying from hunger.

I feel the same Effie.We throw too much food here in the western world. Way too much. That is something to think about in feastdays, together with rejocing, and in fastdays. Maybe this kind of guiltyness is given by the Holy Spirit? I m not sure about this, but it depends on what kind of reaction you have to it, if the feeling will result in a good or bad outcome for you.

Peter

#10 Paul Cowan

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 01:19 AM

Constantine,

I have been thinking on your vegan challenge. Using this recipe, as they all seem to be pretty much the same, I may have a way around your egg and milk problem. I haven't worked out the ratios but have you ever worked or cooked with tapioca? I have discovered this pearl (get it? Pearl?) of cooking recently and am looking for new ways to use it. Tapioca is a natural thickner or binding agent much as are eggs. When cooked with water, it produces a syrup very similar to milk. You can try baking powder instead of yeast for your leaven.

Chemically the above will work. Palatable is another experiment. Instead of using butter to grease your pan, dust it and the dough ball heavily in flour. For the glaze, use the sugar and remaining tapioca syrup. If you happen to make this before me, let us know how it turns out.

Paul the culinary hobbiest


OK,

Forget everything I said. This was the biggest waste of flour I ever had.

I may try again though. I used a yeast subsitute of Baking soda and lemon juice instead of Baking Powder. I will use that next time. The tapioca seemed to work fairly well, but I won't know for sure until I retry with the powder. What I got out of the oven was the densest tasteless brick I have ever tried to eat. It was worse than my last fruit cake. It is very moist though with the soaked raisins. Not all bad, I will give it to the birds this week unless the Humane Dept knocks on my door for trying to kill off the natural wildlife.

For the left over tapioca made from water not milk, I added orange juice to it and made a nice desert concotion.

Paul

#11 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 05:59 AM

OK,

Forget everything I said. This was the biggest waste of flour I ever had.

I may try again though. I used a yeast subsitute of Baking soda and lemon juice instead of Baking Powder. I will use that next time. The tapioca seemed to work fairly well, but I won't know for sure until I retry with the powder. What I got out of the oven was the densest tasteless brick I have ever tried to eat. It was worse than my last fruit cake. It is very moist though with the soaked raisins. Not all bad, I will give it to the birds this week unless the Humane Dept knocks on my door for trying to kill off the natural wildlife.

For the left over tapioca made from water not milk, I added orange juice to it and made a nice desert concotion.

Paul


Paul, during Holy Week, women colour their eggs (on Great/Holy Thursday) and also bake the delicious tsourekia - yeasty sweet Easter bread. This is not very easy to make but it is well worth the effort. The dough is twisted into various shapes and red eggs are also sometimes pushed into the top of the dough as decoration. I should add that in the last few years lots of women have reverted to their grandmothers methods and use onion skins to colour their eggs instead of commercial dyes.

There are plenty of tsoureki recipes on the Internet but if you like I can post mine for you. This Easter bread also keeps well in the freezer. Did I mention how delicious it is???????????????

Effie

#12 Paul Cowan

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 03:32 AM

Paul, during Holy Week, women colour their eggs (on Great/Holy Thursday) and also bake the delicious tsourekia - yeasty sweet Easter bread. This is not very easy to make but it is well worth the effort. The dough is twisted into various shapes and red eggs are also sometimes pushed into the top of the dough as decoration. I should add that in the last few years lots of women have reverted to their grandmothers methods and use onion skins to colour their eggs instead of commercial dyes.

There are plenty of tsoureki recipes on the Internet but if you like I can post mine for you. This Easter bread also keeps well in the freezer. Did I mention how delicious it is???????????????

Effie


Yes, I would love to have your recipe. I just made a lenten gumbo. OMG it was good. I have enough to last the rest of the week.

I can understand red onions used as a dye but will it not come out diluted? red onion skins, vinegar and?

#13 Nina

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 03:53 AM

Yes, I would love to have your recipe. I just made a lenten gumbo. OMG it was good. I have enough to last the rest of the week.

I can understand red onions used as a dye but will it not come out diluted? red onion skins, vinegar and?


What is lenten gumbo???? Please share it if you say OMG!

Tomorrow for Annunciation we can have fish. My fiance was asking why we can't have dairy also. I joked: because we do not push our luck.

Yes my mom prepared once the Pascha red eggs with skin from onions. She chose brown eggs. It was not really red, but ok. So she made more with red dye.

Another time my mom had packed for me onion skin, rosemary, chamomile, bay leaf etc so I would boil them and wash my hair. Ah mothers! I had no idea she had, but the security guys stopped me because they said the luggage smelled good. I do not know how they knew but they guessed it must be for the hair. And one guy from them who did not have a lot of hair asked me if it will make his hair grow and he can borrow those natural products. :)

#14 Olga

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 09:31 AM

Gumbo is the Creole word Americans use for okra. Bamyes.

Dyeing Easter eggs with onion skins will result in brownish eggs, even if skins from red onions are used. The red onion skins give a very slightly redder colour, but it is still brown, even if white or pale eggs are used. The intensity is nothing like that of commercial dyes. The best dyes are the powdered Greek ones, far better than the German or Polish dyes in tablet form. I use one pack of dye for two dozen eggs. For those who might be concerned, the Greek dyes are vegetable dyes, and quite harmless.

For those (like me) who use powdered dyes, you're welcome to try the method my family has successfully used for over 40 years. It results in eggs that are cooked well, but with little or no grey in the yolk. The instructions on some of the dye packets are hilarious: "boil for 10 minutes". Oyyy! Cannonballs!

Make sure the eggs are at room temperature. Using a scourer pad, scrub the eggs with warm water and dishwashing liquid (this removes the outer membrane on the shell, allowing better absorption of the dye), and rinse thoroughly to remove any trace of detergent.

Half-fill a pot or saucepan (stainless steel if at all possible, not aluminium, as it may interfere with the dye, and definitely not enamelled - a new pot may survive, a used one will never be the same again ...) with cold water, and lower the eggs into it one by one, using a spoon to carry them. Top up the water in the pot so that the eggs are covered.

Place the dye powder in a glass (not an opaque mug or cup), add about a third of a glass of boiling water, and stir to completely dissolve the dye. Check to see if the dye is dissolved by raising the glass and looking through the bottom of it. If there are any "crumbs", add a little more water, and stir until all is dissolved. Very important, as even small bits of undissolved dye can mar the eggs.

Add the dye solution to the pot, then add a glass of white vinegar (not brown). Very carefully, pass a spoon gently through the eggs to ensure the dye and vinegar are evenly mixed, and also to move the eggs slightly to allow the dye water to flow all around them and therefore reduce "white spots" where the eggs touch each other or the bottom of the pot.

Turn on the heat to medium, and bring to the boil (make sure the dye is not just bubbling around the edges), then turn down the heat. Simmer for four minutes, then turn off the heat, and leave the eggs in the pot for another ten minutes. Then remove the eggs from the pot one by one with a spoon, and place on a tray or other surface covered with paper towels. As the eggs dry, quickly roll them to turn them so that the wet part of the egg touching the paper towel can dry as well, otherwise you'll get "bottom prints".

Once the eggs are dry, rub them with a soft cloth dipped in olive oil to give a beautiful sheen to bring out the richness of the colour. The oil coat also replaces the outer membrane which was scrubbed off, so it helps the egg keep better (they can last at least ten days, and often up to two weeks). Store the eggs at room temperature, not in the fridge. Refrigerating them makes them sweat, and the colour will run.

There is a persistent "myth" that only white or pale eggs are suitable for dyeing. I can happily dispel that notion, as I have been using brown eggs for years, and they come up beautifully, particularly the red, green, blue and purple (I mix the red and blue dyes). Only when dyeing eggs yellow is it best to have white or pale eggs. If the eggs are too dark, the eggs will turn out yellow-brown. I simply pick out the palest ones and dye these yellow.

#15 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 12:54 PM

Yes, I would love to have your recipe. I just made a lenten gumbo. OMG it was good. I have enough to last the rest of the week.

I can understand red onions used as a dye but will it not come out diluted? red onion skins, vinegar and?


No, Paul, the colour is a deep brownish colour. You don't have to use vinegar as you do with dye. You boil the onion skins and when the colour is nice and brown you add the eggs. When they have boiled and are a nice colour, you removed them from the saucepan and rub them with olive oil to give them a nice shine. I also use baby chrysathemum leaves that I wet, smooth out and tie on the eggs with pieces of old stockings. When they have boiled and you remove the stocking, you have a beautiful leaf pattern on one side of the egg.

#16 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 01:12 PM

[quote name='Olga']

For those who might be concerned, the Greek dyes are vegetable dyes, and quite harmless.


Olga, they are not all vegetable dyes. Some are dangerous. You have to read what is in them very carefully before using them.

Thanks for the instructions. When using dyes my eggs are sometimes perfect and sometimes a mess......................

We always save the most beautiful egg and place it in the iconostasis together with a couple of flowers from the epitaphion and a piece of box/laurel from Palm Sunday. No palms up here so they use Baia (very tiny laurel or box) I might be wrong here because I could not find the right word in English. These hedges have tiny leaves and although Palm Sunday is translated as Kuriaki ton Baion this plant is definitely not a palm nor is it laurel as we know it. There are lots of different type of laurels, i.e. the bay leaf plant we call daphne, but this plant has very tiny leaves and is very dense. It is used here in Greece for hedges. Any help would be welcome here. The Greek-English dictionary I have translates Baia as laurel. On the other hand it translates laurel as daphne!!!!

#17 Nina

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 05:53 PM

Effie, Κυριακή των Βαϊων (Palm Sunday) as you know it is called because of the branches/fronds of the palm trees.Tα βάγια is really the word for the branches of the palms (you can read also here). But in northern Greece these are not growing so much so they import them from Crete, since in the south there are more palms. Thus all regions are different. Some may have bay leaf, some may have palms and in some areas the churches order both.

Here is some more info:

Phoenix. Βαέα η, τα βάγια. Φοίνικας. Τα μακρυά φύλλα των άγριων φοινίκων. Η βαγία, η φοινικιά. Την Κυριακή των Βαϊων τα βάγια κόβονται και πλέκονται σε σχήμα σταυρών, ηλίων, φεγγαριών και άλλων σχημάτων. Στη συνέχεια, δένονται σε κλαδί ελιάς και τα πηγαίνουν στην εκκλησία να ευλογηθούν. Τα βάγια αυτά και η ελιά τα βάζουν στο εικονοστάσι. (Κάρπαθος).

Please find something here and here.

Oh, and some hymns for Palm Sunday here.

Edited by Nina, 26 March 2008 - 03:37 PM.


#18 Olga

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 08:52 PM

The Russians and other Slavs use pussywillow branches for Palm Sunday, as palms are unavailable, though here in Australia, they use both palms and pussywillow.

#19 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 06:43 AM

Effie, Κυριακή των Βαϊων (Palm Sunday) as you know it is called because of the branches/fronds of the palm trees.Tα βάγια is really the word for the branches of the palms (you can read also here). But in northern Greece these are not growing so much so they import them from Crete, since in the south there are more palms. Thus all regions are different. Some may have bay leaf, some may have palms and in some areas the churches order both.

Here is some more info:

Please find something here and here.

Oh, and some hymns for Palm Sunday here.


Nina, the bush that is called vaya/baia here and branches of which are given on Palm Sunday has very tiny leaves and is used as a small, very dense hedge. Lots of monasteries use this plant for their hedges. It is something completely different from both palm and laurel. Laurel/daphne/bay leaf (take your pick of the name) branches are also given to us with this vaya. The Internet is full of information and yet I sometimes cannot find what I want. Never mind. If you ever come up this way on holiday, I will show you what I mean....................... lots of smiles here.

Effie

#20 Nina

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 03:37 PM

Dear Effie, I have no idea what that plant/tree is since whenever I have been there (not in Kozani though) I saw either palm, or laurel/bay-leaf.




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