Posted on : February 4th, 2020
Today, as I write this blog post, is the traditional day of celebration in Torrent, Spain called La entrada de la flor or the Entrance of the Flower. On February 1st, in the Valencian community, the Confrerie of the Mother of God make an offering of a branch of the first blooming almond tree to the Virgin Mary. This, almost certainly, started out as a pagan celebration in this community. The community goes back to the ancient Romans who established the first city in the region in 138 BC. But today La entrada de la flor is a rite associated with the Catholic church and it’s a very elaborate one!
The branch is brought to the parish of Sant Lluís Bertran where everyone celebrates with a big feast-like breakfast together. That night the people of the parish gather, the priest blesses the branch and then there is a procession with the branch to the parish of Our Lady of the Assumption with people carrying sparklers and setting off fireworks along the way. Once there, the rector of that church blesses the branch, offers it to the Virgin of Rosario, and fireworks are set off to commemorate the transfer. It sounds like fun (and I’m sure it is) but the participants in the procession actually walk slowly with a very solemn sacred attitude despite the festive music that plays as they walk along. Here’s a video I found on Youtube:
The person carrying the flowering tree branch comes at the end. It’s a surprising large branch, too! Quite an Entrance of the Flower!
I think of common themes from ancient times watching this: the return of the light, the warmth and promise of Spring. Almond blossom season is certainly something we look forward to in Chico for a lot of the same reasons. Mostly, I would say, because the early burst of color and beauty lifts everyone’s spirits in a gloomy and grey time of year.
But in many places it is a lot more than that. In his book, Report to Greco, Nikos Kazantzakis writes: “I said to the almond tree, ‘Sister, speak to me of God.’ And the almond tree blossomed.”
Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products, Inc. was founded on strong beliefs and passion for offering unique, flavorful, top-quality, nut products. At Maisie Jane’s we strongly believe in earth-friendly practices that start on our family owned and operated orchards. We use Organic farming practices and continue in the process by using all-natural ingredients with no preservatives or GMOs. And we believe in honest, friendly and helpful customer relations at all levels. We take pride in every task, every day, with every person.