Day: Sunday, March 25
Place: La Basilica Church
In ancient times, when a king, a governor or a hero entered triumphantly into his town, the people received him with a court of palms (the leaves of the dátiles) that were the synonym of victory and for the Church, synonym of martyrdom. When Jesus Christ arrived in Jerusalem, the people acclaimed him like a king and a crowd of children received him with palms and olive branches, which were a symbol of peace.
All around the world, on Palm Sunday this welcome is remembered. In America, the white palm tree is used, (a specie of warm weather), together with rosemary and basil. And because there is a long artisan tradition in Quito, the palms of branches began to be knitted at some point on the most diverse figures are developed (crosses, baskets, flowers, butterflies, whatever the weaver might think). With these branches, the people of Quito welcome Jesus Christ in a ceremony in which the palms are blessed and the faithful take them back home to place them in a special place.
The display of ornaments made from palm trees gathered in the temple of San Francisco on Palm Sunday is the first distinguishing mark of Easter in Quito.