The pussy willow is poplar in China during the Lunar New Year and is decorated with red and gold ornaments that signify happiness and prosperity.
The pussy willow is carried on Palm Sunday by Ukraine and Russian Orthodox church members, Roman Catholics in Poland, Lutherans in Finland and others areas of eastern Europe.
In Buffalo, New York, Polish-Americans continue to observe Dyngus Day (Easter Monday) observances that include the use of pussy willow.
A legend tells us that a number of grey tabby kittens were thrown into a rushing river by a cruel miscreant who grew tired of their constant mewing. Occasionally one has a neighbor such as this. The mother cat was distressed and begged the compassionate willows along the banks of the river to hold out their long withes (branches) to save her kittens. The trees obliged and all the dear kittens grabbed hold of one of the withes were saved. The grey catkins of the pussy willow represent the grey kittens all clinging to a withe.
Willows also let us know that spring is around the corner for we can see a pale green on the willows and know that spring has arrived.
European pussy willow will grow to a height if 45 feet!