Palm Sunday was observed by Christians across the world on Sunday. The day commemorates Jesus Christ’s entry into Jerusalem before he was arrested and crucified, according to the Gospels.
It is believed palm branches were placed in his path when Christ entered into Jerusalem before his crucifixion.
There will be daily masses till Easter Sunday, which is on April 1, with a special one on Good Friday (March 30).
When is Palm Sunday celebrated?
While it is being celebrated on March 25 this year, the Palm Sunday date changes every year — though it always falls exactly a week before Easter Sunday.
One of the most important days in the Christian calendar, Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy Week, preceding the week of events leading up to Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.
Palm Sunday also signifies the beginning of the last week of Lent, a season of 40 days beginning on Ash Wednesday that represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.
What is the Palm Sunday story?
Palm Sunday is celebrated to commemorate Jesus Christ’s entry into Jerusalem before he was betrayed, crucified and resurrected. It is believed that palm branches were placed in his path when Christ entered the holy city on the back of a donkey, before his arrest and crucifixion.
According to the Gospels, crowds threw palm leaves, recognised as a symbol of peace and victory, before his feet to honour Christ, as predicted in the Old Testament.
How is Palm Sunday celebrated?
On this day, parishioners usually carry palms in a ritualistic procession into churches, where the leaves are blessed with holy water.
During special Palm Sunday services, many churches provide congregation members with small crosses made from palm leaves. In many households, the leaves received from the church are placed before a picture of Christ and they remain there till Christmas Eve when it is given back to the churches to be used in bonfire.
In many countries, believers create crosses from palm fronds as a celebration. A traditional celebratory feast is also common.
At many congregations, the palms are burnt and the ashes saved for next year’s Ash Wednesday.