Elche’s white palms: A time-honoured tradition

Elche's white palms: A time-honoured tradition.

Elche's white palms: A time-honoured tradition. Image: Ayuntamiento de Elche. 

Elche has faithfully followed the yearly tradition leading up to Holy Week by sending white palms to various authorities for Palm Sunday, a Festival of International Tourist Interest.

Elche’s Mayor, Pablo Ruz, described the palms as “five pieces of art,” representing the soul of Elche.

Every year, Elche sends curly palms to Pope Francis, adorned with a cross and the ‘magrana’ from the Misteri d’Elx, to mark the 75th anniversary of the Dogma of the Assumption in 2025.

Palms are also sent to the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, featuring a Lady emblematic of the city; to Queen Letizia, with a crown and the Virgin’s ‘M’ in the centre.

Additionally, palms are sent to the bishops of the Orihuela-Alicante Diocese and Solsona from Elche.

Plain white palms will be sent to King Felipe VI, Queen Sofía, the mayor of Jaca, Carlos Serrano (Elche’s twin city), all members of the Consell, and the president of the Alicante Provincial Council, Toni Pérez.

The mayor emphasised Elche’s pride in this tradition and its significance on Palm Sunday, particularly the palm presented to the Pope adorning the main altar in St. Peter’s Square.

He thanked everyone involved in making this tradition possible, including the palm workshop members, the Serrano Valero family, and the people of Elche.

Paqui Serrano, one of the palm artisans, expressed gratitude for the City Council’s trust in their workshop and the importance of this tradition to Elche’s community.

The white palms are carefully packaged in water and sulfur, wrapped in plastic, and secured in a wooden frame to prevent damage due to their fragility.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.