Palm Sunday is the last Sunday before Easter and is a celebration of the Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem before His Passion. People greeted Jesus by waving palm fronds, and laid their garments and branches from the trees on the path in front of Him.
In Ukraine Palm Sunday is called Flower(y) Sunday (Kvitna/Tsvitna Nedilya), or Willow Sunday (Verbna Nedilya), because in Ukraine flowering willow branches are blessed in place of palm fronds. At the end of the Liturgy, when people come for the anointing they take blessed willow branches and candles. After service they bring them to their homes and use as sacramental. There is a tradition to tap each other with willow branches wishing good health, wealth and happiness. This ritual dates back to pagan times.
Since ancient times willow tree is considered to be a holy tree, and symbolizes resurrection, eternal life, heavens, and the whole Universe. It is the first tree to show signs of life after long winter. It was believed to have magic protective, medicinal and energizing powers drawn from Sun and people taped each other with branches believing that the energy from the tree will be transmitted to them. Willow is famous for it's medicinal properties and for ages was used to treat many illnesses.