20 April 2010

Lightning Shields

Palaspas or palm leaf vendors in Makati.

I do know the basics about palm arrangements for Palm Sunday. That they are hung outside doors or windows, that they are burned as forehead fodder for next year's Ash Wednsday. But what I didn't know was they are generally (even elsewhere in the world) believed to protect your household from lightning.

Seaside home with nondescript leaves.

Palm leaf manipulation for the occasion is a widespread craft in the country. I tremendously like it, as your resource is produced efficiently and cycles back as soil or spiritual nourishment. The small-town Ilocano version of the whole exercise involves a bunch of unidentifyable local leaves, unceremoniously snapped off, blessed at church during Domingo de Ramos (the local term for Palm Sunday) and left to dry at a strategic, bolt-deflecting point. So simple and nondescript do they look that I mistook them for instruments to shoo flies away. I like that too.

Protecting a pigsty from lightning.

Popular Posts