Yesterday was "Willow Sunday" in Kiev and, I would imagine, much of the Orthodox world. This meant that there were tons of people out on the street carrying a bunch of willow branches. Willow Sunday is the local equivalent of Palm Sunday. Orthodox Easter is next week. The substituion of willows for palms occurs because there are no palms available in this part of the world and Willows are one of the first plants to bloom. The day was also an occaison for people to make a buck, as there were people hawking bunches of willow branches in front of the active cathedrals in Kiev.