Palm Sunday is the sixth and last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week.
Holy Week is the week before Easter, commemorating events in the last days of Jesus' life on Earth. It begins on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Monday.
Palm Sunday is a time of celebration as well as sadness because Jesus died on a cross less than a week after he had entered Jerusalem.
What is Palm Sunday?
The Sunday before Easter is known as Palm Sunday. It celebrates Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Passover. Great crowds of people lined the streets waving palm branches to welcome him. The people were very excited. They spread branches on the road – and even laid down their clothes. They shouted 'Hosanna!' which means 'Save us Now!'
We wave our UK flags at parades. They waved palm branches.
Why is it called Palm Sunday?
The Sunday before Easter is called Palm Sunday because the crowds waved palm branches as they followed Jesus' procession into Jerusalem.
Why did Jesus go to Jerusalem?
It was the time of the Jewish feast of Passover. Many Jews travelled to Jerusalem to celebrate this feast together.
What happens on Palm Sunday in England?
On Palm Sunday, children are given crosses made from single palm leaves. Traditionally, many churches will have a procession in or around the church while people sing songs of praise and wave palm leaves. This is to help them imagine what Jesus' entry into Jerusalem might have been like.
In some English churches small buns called pax cakes (symbolic of peace and goodwill) are given to the congregation as they leave after a Palm Sunday service.
What happens to any Palm crosses left over?
Any left over Palm Crosses are kept and burned to make ashes for next years Ash Wednesday services.