Palm Sunday Image Source: Xinhua/lyi/IANS

Palm Sunday

“They took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" - John 12:13

Palm Sunday, or otherwise known as Passion Sunday, marks the beginning of the Holy Week in Christianity. It celebrates the triumphant journey of Jesus Christ into the city of Jerusalem, and in honor of the days of deception and desolation, trials and tribulations, crucifixion and resurrection in the week that follows. This year, Palm Sunday falls on April 2nd, 2023, on the Sunday before Good Friday and Easter.

Palm Sunday 2024 is on March 24 Sunday

5 months and 22 days to go for the event

The Story and Significance of Palm Sunday

As per the Christian scriptures, as Jesus approached Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples to Jerusalem, the city to where they were headed, and said that there was a tied colt, an uncastrated male donkey which has never been driven. Jesus asked them to untie the colt and bring it to him, and to say the words “The Lord needs it” if anybody questioned them. The disciples did as commanded by Jesus.

Palm Sunday recalls this Biblical event when the people of Jerusalem greets Jesus, who came to their land as King, the Messiah, surrounded by his disciples. They waved palm branches and lay them on his path along with cloaks, and shouted ‘Hosanna’ to celebrate his arrival on the back of a donkey. It is said that as Jesus arrived at Jerusalem, he met its people, stopped on his way, viewed the city and wept over its coming destruction.

“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.” He continues to say “They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” - Luke 19:41-44

Palm Sunday remembers the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem when people exulted over his arrival, just as Christians wave palm leaves since then on the beginning of the Holy Week, as a symbol of accepting Jesus Christ and one’s willingness to follow him.

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Passion Week Image Source: IANS

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Passion Week

Observances on Palm Sunday

Devotees observe services with palm leaves in hand in remembrance of how people greeted the Son of God to Jerusalem. The Service of Palm Sunday includes reading of the passion, or the suffering of Jesus of Nazareth who died on the cross for the salvation of his people. People sing special hymns and songs, do readings of the Bible on this day. Some make a cross out of the palm leaves they hold on this day and take them home after the service. They preserve these leaves to burn them later, the ashes of which are used for Ash Wednesday the next year. The service also includes processions of all people gathered in the church to demonstrate one’s willingness to follow God and His teachings in their lives.

Palm Sunday festival dates between 2020 & 2030

2020Sunday, 5th of April
2021Sunday, 28th of March
2022Sunday, 10th of April
2023Sunday, 2nd of April
2024Sunday, 24th of March
2025Sunday, 6th of April
2026Sunday, 29th of March
2027Sunday, 21st of March
2028Sunday, 9th of April
2029Sunday, 25th of March
2030Sunday, 14th of April