Christians celebrate Palm Sunday

Christians around the world are marking Palm Sunday today in their respective homes and especially churches.

Palm Sunday is the final Sunday before Easter, when Christians use palm crosses to mark the moment Jesus entered Jerusalem.

It commemorates the day when Jesus arrived in the Holy City of Jerusalem and the crowds lay palm branches and clothes at His feet to honour and to welcome him.

According to the Gospels, Jesus Christ rode a donkey into Jerusalem, and the celebrating people there laid down their cloaks and small branches of trees in front of him, and sang.

Palm Sunday also marks the start of Holy Week leading up to Good Friday when Jesus was crucified on the cross followed by His triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Palm branches are a widely recognised symbol of peace and victory, and in Biblical times were often thrown before the feet of a conquering hero in homage.

During Palm Sunday Mass, palms are distributed to parishioners who carry them in a ritual procession into church.

The palms are blessed with holy water. People are now given small crosses, made of palms, to take home with them.

Later these are burnt to create the ashes that are put on people’s heads on Ash Wednesday (just before Lent starts) the following year.

In some parts of the world where palm trees don’t grow, flowers or olive branches are used instead.

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