Palm Sunday 2017: The story behind and date of the pre-Easter holiday

Palm branches will fill Christian churches around the world on April 9. They’ll decorate buildings and be made into miniature crosses.


April 9 is Palm Sunday, one of the most important religious dates in the Christian calendar leading up to Easter.

Here’s a brief and basic explainer on the holiday:

What is Palm Sunday?

Palm Sunday is the final Sunday in the Lenten season, signifying the beginning of Holy Week. Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter and is held in remembrance of Jesus’ time in Jerusalem before he died and, according to Christianity, was resurrected . it is held across the world where Christians thrive. In Nigeria, the celebration has dwindled over the last 7 years due to less emphasis that is being attached to it by the Christian Association of Nigeria as well as the insurgency the country is/has been witnessing.

How does it relate to the Bible?

Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. As he rode into the city on a donkey, his followers spread palm branches at his feet and called him “Hosanna.” Palm branches were considered symbols of victory and triumph at the time.

Days later, the people of Jerusalem would turn on Jesus and demand the Romans crucify him.

According to Christianity, Jesus would actually be the savior of his people – as he would save them from their sins, conquering death in doing so.

Do you do anything special?

Christian churches across the country will incorporate palm branches into their services on Palm Sunday. Many hand out palm branches that have been blessed by the priest to the congregation, who will then make them into crosses. The branch is meant to serve as a reminder of the Christ’s victory over death.

Catholic churches also often have processions using the palms. A priest will walk towards the church, while the congregation places palms before him.

What happens to the unused palms?

The palms have all been blessed by the priest, so they are therefore holy. With that status, you don’t simply throw them away . In some churches, The palms are held till the next year, when they are burned to make the ashes for Ash Wednesday.

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