What is Palm Sunday and why is it celebrated?

PALM Sunday, the first day of the holy week, starts today (March 28, 2021) and Easter Sunday is fast approaching.

Here's all you need to know about the celebration…

Credit: Getty – Contributor

Parishioners often carry palms into church, commemorating Jesus' journey into the Holy City before his death

What is Palm Sunday?

Palm Sunday marks the moment when the son of God entered the holy city on the back of a donkey.

Believers use the day to remember Jesus' entry into the city before he was betrayed, killed and resurrected.

The Christian feast celebrates Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

When is Palm Sunday in 2021?

This year the Christian feast falls today, Sunday March 28, 2021.

The date changes year to year.

But it always falls exactly seven days before Easter Sunday.

Why is Palm Sunday celebrated?

The Christian feast celebrates Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

Palm branches are widely recognised as a symbol of peace and victory and were thrown before the feet of conquering heroes in biblical times.

Gospel writers say crowds lay palm branches and clothes at his feet to honour Jesus as he arrived in Jerusalem.

It was predicted in the Old Testament that people would recognise the Messiah when he rode into the city and lay palms at his feet.

All the Gospels detail how Jesus rode into the Holy City on a donkey that had never been ridden before – showing he came in peace.

How is Palm Sunday celebrated?

Palm Sunday is celebrated differently throughout the Christian world.

In the UK during Palm Sunday Mass, palms are distributed to parishioners.

They then carry them in a ritual procession into church, where the leaves are blessed with holy water.

People may also be given small crosses made of palm fronds to take home.

In countries where palms are unavailable, believers use pussy willow or other types of branches to mark the festival.

In some traditions, a donkey forms part of the Palm Sunday parade.

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