What Is Palm Sunday and Why Is It Celebrated?

by Carole John

What is Palm Sunday?


You might be wondering what Palm Sunday is or you may have seen people with palm leaves on their hands, or, you grew up knowing about Palm Sunday but you don’t have the full details concerning the day. You are in the right place. We have compiled some information that will help you understand all about Palm Sunday. What is Palm Sunday besides people walking around holding palm leaves and branches? It is a Christian celebration celebrated by Catholics and Protestants to commemorate an event where Jesus was entering Jerusalem riding a donkey.  Palm Sunday commemorates jesus’ humble entry to Jerusalem. This is shown by him riding a horse. 

Palm Sunday
Source: A Catholic Moment

Jesus rides a young donkey

As Jesus was entering Jerusalem, people were greeting Him with and waving palm branches. People were simply acting out to honor Jesus as the Messiah and King. Also, this was his last entering into Jerusalem before he was crucified. On this day, people laid down their different pieces of clothing like coats for the donkey to walk on. They acknowledged him as their King and that he was the King over Israel and would be their leader. However, the kingdom was not the earthly kingdom as people thought.

You can get more facts on Palm Sunday on kidadl

When is Palm Sunday?

The date fluctuates

Unlike other holidays such as Christmas, Palm Sunday does not have a consistent day when it comes yearly. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the holy week.  In Christianity, the holy week is the holiest in the church year.  Christians remember the events leading to Jesus’ death by crucifixion and his resurrections during the sacred week.  Holy Thursday is also known as Maudy Thursday is one of the days that is celebrated this week. It is the day that commemorates the washing of the feet as well as the last supper. 

Palm Sunday Crosses from Palm trees
Source: Teaching Catholic Kids

Why is Palm Sunday Celebrated and Why is it Important?

Importance of Palm Sunday

In the Christian community, this act of Jesus entering Jerusalem signifies Jesus entering in people’s hearts and the act of willingly following him. It is also the week where Jesus went through a lot of suffering for humanity and one of the major events in Christianity; therefore, a day worth remembrance. The palm branches that were being used played a great role in giving the day the Palm Sunday name. The act of laying down coats was an act of respect for the King.

Today, this is also practiced to honor important people in society by rolling out a red carpet for them to walk on. The entering of Jerusalem in a horse signified that Jesus was no ordinary King since Kings used to ride on powerful horses and chariots. The event was a fulfillment of a prophetic saying recorded in the Book of Zachariah. The prophecy said that he would enter Jerusalem riding a young donkey. This prophecy is recorded in the book of Zachariah chapter 9.

Jesus rides a donkey
Source: National Catholic Register


The day also signifies Jesus’ humbleness and meekness that even as a King he was riding a donkey rather than a horse. His act of humbleness and humility is also shown during the last supper where he washed his disciple’s feet. This shows that leaders should also be servants to the people they are leading and they should be on the frontline being of service to people. The day and the Holy Week are usually full of penance and fasting, as a way to remember the pain Jesus went through for the sake of humanity.

Jesus Washes Disciples Feet
Source: Free Bible Images

How is the day Celebrated?

Different Ways in Which Palm Sunday is Celebrated. 

Palm Sunday is celebrated through having sermons that remind Christians of the fall that Jesus took or the Passion of Christ. The sermons are based on a reminder of Jesus’ sacrificial act of dying on the cross. Christians sorrowfully repent for their sins and also celebrate the salvation that was freely given to them through Jesus.

In some churches, the palm branches are usually taken to church and prayed for before being given out to the church members. It is usually a sign of blessing the palms. People also take the palms home with them as a reminder of Jesus’ last days before his death. Some churches collect the palms almost a year later to be burned during Ash Wednesday celebrations. During Palm Sunday, people also make small crosses with the palm fronds to represent the cross that Jesus died on.

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