When is Palm Sunday?
Palm Sunday marks the last Sunday before Easter in the Christian church. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week, which encompasses perhaps the most important days in Christianity. The date for Palm Sunday varies in the same way that Easter Sunday does, which is in accordance to solar and lunar calendars.
History of Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday refers to the notable event that occurred on the Sunday before Jesus was crucified. This was also the week before his resurrection. According to the Holy Bible, this was the day that Jesus re-entered Jerusalem. This symbolized to his followers that he was the son of God, and that he was destined to remain in the Holy Land. Others rejoiced and shouted “Hosanna,” which referred to being saved. He was declared the King of the Holy Land, and a savior of humankind. History within in Christianity shows that such declarations by this group of people ultimately led to Jesus’ downfall.
Other details surrounding Jesus’ reentry into Jerusalem are significant to the history of Palm Sunday. One controversial act was his riding a donkey back into town. According to Liberty Voice, riding into a city on a horse symbolized command and conquering, while a donkey symbolized peace. Given the consistently peaceful nature of Jesus in scripture, his riding into Jerusalem on a donkey makes sense. Many people applauded this symbol. However, other supporters, especially within the Jewish community, were upset with this act because they didn’t think Jesus represented himself as a strong enough leader.
One of the reasons why this holiday is referred to as “Palm” Sunday is because of the significance of palm branches used upon Jesus’s arrival into Jerusalem. When he rode in on the donkey in a peace effort, his supporters placed palm branches around his feet. The use of the palm branch is significant because they were often used by kings during this era to show strength and triumph.
Palm Sunday Feasts and Traditions
Palm Sunday has been historically regarded as one of the big Christian feasts. There was also a feast on the Sunday that Jesus returned to Jerusalem. In Catholic and Protestant churches, there are often special services dedicated to Palm Sunday, followed by a feast including the entire congregation. The timing of the feasts vary by church; some may choose to hold a brunch after normal morning service hours, while others choose to have a dinner feast. No matter what time of day of the feast, the same theme of Palm Sunday holds true. Some churches also choose to decorate with palm fronds to commemorate the return of their Savior.
This holiday also marks the last Sunday in Lent, so some Christians may uphold fasting traditions on this day with the exception of the Palm Sunday feast. Lent encompasses the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday.
Palm Sunday is a deeply religious holiday. The primary purpose is to commemorate Jesus’s crossing back into Jerusalem to symbolize peace. This serves as a reminder to many Christians of how important it is to practice their religion in peace. Palm Sunday also serves as an opportunity for celebrators to come together and celebrate peace and love in humanity.