Today is Palm Sunday which is a Christian celebration that always falls on the Sunday before Easter Sunday. It commemorates the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before his crucifixion.
It is the start of Holy Week for Christians. This is the week leading up the Easter, Jesus’ last week on Earth.
This day celebrates Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem on a donkey to celebrate the Jewish festival of Passover. Crowds of people welcomed Jesus by waving palm branches by laying them on his path.
Palm Sunday is both a happy and sad day for Christians. Christians feel happy because they are praising Jesus, but also sad because they know it was only one week later that Jesus died.
Traditionally, in churches on Palm Sunday, people are given a cross made from a single palm leaf as a reminder of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem and his death on the cross. The priest will bless the palms as people hold them and sprinkle them with Holy Water.
Some Christians keep this in their home all year as a symbol of their faith. However, the leftover palm crosses are kept and burnt. This ash is then put on people’s foreheads in a special service on Ash Wednesday.