Some interesting facts about Palm Sunday. It celebrates the significance of Jesus’ triumphant entry into the city of Jerusalem before His crucifixion.
It is important to know the right Palm Sunday facts before getting into the groove of celebration. The sixth Sunday of Lent is known as the Palm Sunday and falls on the Sunday preceding Easter Sunday. The other name for this day in Christian calendar is the Passion Sunday, Willow Sunday, or Flower Sunday – as there was a practice of distributing either Palms, flowers, willows etc on this Sunday The main fact of Palm Sunday remains like this – this day remembers the triumphal entry of Jesus in Jerusalem just five days before He being crucified. The gospels stated that according to the Christian traditions, Jesus rode on a donkey back and the crowds in the lanes of Jerusalem greeting Him in full cheer. They considered Him to be the Messiah and laid palm branches and dresses on His path.
Other Facts of Palm Sunday
- Palm Sunday, also called Passion Sunday, in the Christian tradition.
- Palm Sunday falls on the first Sunday before Easter. The day memorialises Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
- The palm branch is a symbol of victory, triumph, peace and eternal life.
- Palm Sunday marks the start of the holiest week in the Christian calendar leading up to Easter ,which falls on March 27th
- After Jesus entered Jerusalem, the city asked, “Who is this?” to which the crowds replied, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galillee.”
- Palm Sunday celebrations started off in the churches of Jerusalem, before the third or fourth century AD.
- This special Sunday marks the commencement of the Holy Week.
- Following this Sunday is the Easter Sunday.
- On this day, processions come out in the roads and people carry palm branches – which denote blessings from the Lord. They also make small palm crosses.
- Sacred music is played and there are various performances that are organized across the city. Usually they happen in local churches and sometimes there are regular concerts.
- Plays or parades are arranged as well that focuses mainly on the Holy Week. However, the themes and ideas are that of Palm Sunday.
- Palm Sunday is not a national holiday in United States. But any which ways, as the day falls on a Sunday, it is a no-school day and also non-working for majority of Americans.
- The Palm Sunday falls on any one of the 35 dates ranging from 15 March to 18 April.
- The Liturgical Colour of Palm Sunday is Red
- It is also the Sixth Sunday of Lent
- The Palm Sunday is known as the “Pussy Willow Sunday” in Latvia
- In Kerala, South India, flowers are sprinkled about into the safe haven on Palm Sunday when the gospel is read out.
- Palm Sunday is known as Tsvetnitsa in Bulgaria.
- Children dress up as Easter witches and roam about from door to door in neighborhood areas for coins and candy in Finland.
So, there are different Palm Sunday facts in different parts of the globe. Know the real essence and get into the celebrations.
Palm Sunday Activities
Palm Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday just before Easter Sunday and is a significant Christian festival. Palm Sunday activities mark the celebration of Palm Sunday in a large scale. And, it is just the start of the Holy Week which depicts the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem, riding on a donkey’s back. There were people who welcomed him by waving palm branches while he was entering. Shouting Hosanna, they laid down their palm branches and cloaks on His path, for a grand welcome. Children usually gear themselves up for the activities of Palm Sunday as they have nothing else to engage them with.
During Palm Sunday, there are special activities of Palm Sunday that are specially designed for children. These activities help children understand Palm Sunday better and the reason behind it being celebrated by waving palm branches.
- Children from the neighborhood or even friends can be called upon to participate in these interesting activities of Palm Sunday.
- One can start with these Palm Sunday activities first by reading the Holy Scriptures that tells the story of Palm Sunday to the children and that too in a candid manner.
- Tell them know the reasons why Jesus Christ needed to go to Jerusalem in spite of the fact that the Scribes and other elders did not identify him as a preacher of the Christian faith.
- The lucid manner in which you tell the story will help them understand the reason why Palm Sunday is celebrated just at the commencement of the Holy Week.
- After the story of Palm Sunday is discussed in detail with the children, it is now time to proceed to the different Palm Sunday activities. Activities that relate to this event are usually very interesting and very creative.
- Instruct them to prepare their dough and make the scene where Jesus Christ was seen entering Jerusalem. Children could also create figures of Jesus Christ, the donkey, and the mass who were seen cheering his entry. If the dough is of different colors, then the creative would be higher and it will be a delight to watch as well.
There is another way to re-enact the Palm Sunday story and that too through flannel boards. One could make a flannel board by way of stapling felt paper of a standard size on a sheet of a heavy paper; choose a poster board in all preferences. Let the children draw and color the different Bible characters who were involved in the Palm Sunday story. After that, cut outs could be taken and have a stick pasted at the back of each of those figure cut-outs.
- After this entire process is over, they may be able to re-enact the event in the proper manner.
- Another activity of Palm Sunday to keep the children engaged is to conduct a quiz on Palm Sunday facts. That could involve the stories from the Holy Scriptures, the characters involved and other hidden facts about Palm Sunday. Make a team and get best results out of it.
Palm Sunday Parade
Palm Sunday is an important day in the Christian calendar which falls right before the Easter Sunday. This day signifies all those events that are related with the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and how the people greeted him in good cheer by spreading over palm leaves and also their garments. Jesus enters Jerusalem on the back of a donkey and that denotes peace. Palm Sunday is the start of the Holy week as well. This is the time when Jesus came into Jerusalem before his crucifixion.
- The parades of Palm Sunday that are arranged on the morning of Palm Sunday carry out all that deeds that made Jesus feel special and rejoiced as ever.
- Everybody hailed him as the King or the Messiah. People distribute palms and keep it with them as a token of blessing and love.
- Masses cry out praises in his name and tell all that he did to stand beside the masses, how he offered a helping hand always. His mission was to help the poor and serve them in any kind of need. His preachings, teachings, and his ways of healing – everything is narrated out in the Palm Sunday parade.
- The Palm Sunday celebrations begin in the morning with the mass gathering in the church. Thereafter, from the church the congregation takes part in the Palm Sunday parade and they sing Palm Sunday songs, hymns and narrate various Palm Sunday stories and praises for Jesus.
- Then palm leaves are also distributed to those taking part in the parade of Palm Sunday and they are told that the palm leaves are very much holy and should be preserved properly.
- Till the next Palm Sunday, the palm leaves are preserved in a proper manner and then replaced with newer palm leaves after either burning the old ones off or by burying them down. Palm Sunday parades take place with utmost extravaganza – giving a feel to the people participating in it as to what actually happened on the day when Jesus entered Jerusalem.
- Everybody wants to get a feel of the situation of that special day in Christian calendar and how much the people of Jerusalem actually rejoiced that day. So, take part in the parades of Palm Sunday and get into the groove of actual celebrations.
Palm Sunday Traditions
The Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy Week and slowly it leads to the Easter Sunday. The Sunday that has a big resemblance with Palm leaves, is usually the one known as Palm Sunday – marking the victorious and glorious entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. People (his followers) for his grand welcome, laid down palms and their garments such that he didn’t have any problem walking down the streets.
- To carry on the Palm Sunday traditions, palms are distributed to those who gather in the church and they receive blessings during the mass.
- People getting the palms take them back home and place them in places where it is considered to be holy, like around religious pictures, statues or other holy objects.
- The tradition of Palm Sunday is usually like one has to keep the Palm with them for about a year and until the next Palm Sunday, when it is substituted by new blessed Palms.
- When one discards the old palms, it should be remembered that it is a blessed religious object and therefore should be burnt or buried. Some prefer to bury it in their home garden, while others burn it off.
Customs of Palm Sunday
- The usual traditions of Palm Sunday states that in many churches, worshippers gather fresh Palm leaves as they are blessed and it is considered to be holy to have palm leaves in the house
- This tradition of Palm Sunday to collect fresh palm leaves is carried on in different parts of the globe in different manners. The Palm Sunday traditions have slowly evolved over the years and alternating Palm Sunday customs have cropped up.
Palm Sunday in Latvia
- “Pussy Willow Sunday” as Palm Sunday is known in Latvia, is due to the fact that pussy willows signify fresh life and they are distributed among those who are meant to be blessed in reality.
- The entire family celebrates the day by getting up in the morning practicing various rituals with smacks of willow branch. There is also a weird tradition where people hold and hit each other with these willow branches.
Palm Sunday in India
There is usually a tradition in South India in Kerala to spread flowers into sanctuary on the Palm Sunday and also to read the gospel to narrate words of praises about Jesus.
Palm Sunday in Spain
Spain, the ritual of Palm Sunday is like tying and wrapping palm leaves for whitening them away from the sunlight and also to freshen them and tie up them in complex shapes.
Palm Sunday in Malta
- The entire community of Gozo and Malta follow a separate set of tradition on Palm Sunday. They bless the olive leaves and the palm leaves. They are kept in the houses and is regarded as a holy deed.
- It is supposed to bless all in the house.
Palm Sunday in Netherlands
- Palm crosses made out of Palm leaves are ornamented in the Saxon areas of Netherlands.
- The palm crosses calm with bread and candy, and takes the form of a rooster. A parade is also organized, to honor the Sorrowful Mother of Warfhuizen.
Palm Sunday in Poland
In Poland, there is usually an artificial palm contests, organized by various towns and cities.
Palm Sunday in Bulgaria
- Palm Sunday is known as Tsvetnitsa in Bulgaria. The other names for Palm Sunday in Blgaria are related with flower names like Margarita, Violeta, Zdravko, Lilia, Tzviatko, Yavor, Zjumbjul, Temenuzhka, Nevena, etc.
So, each place has their separate set of Palm Sunday traditions which is followed by the people of that place to keep up with the custom and the rules.
Palm Sunday History
Palm Sunday is a significant event in the Christian calendar and this day marks the commencement of the Holy Week. The Palm Sunday history will allow all of us to get an idea about why and how this week is so important.
The history of Palm Sunday took into account all that happened with Jesus after his majestic entry to Jerusalem.
- The normal population of Jerusalem during that time was approximately 50,000. But during Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem the population had nearly tripled in size.
- Pilgrims celebrating the Jewish holiday Passover had come into the city and thus the rush was high.
- It was an early Sunday morning when Jesus made his public entry in Jerusalem, where one highly experienced the collision of the religious and political systems.
- There were crowds cheering Him and singing praises for Him.
- There were processions and shouting from the people standing to welcome Him. People laid down their garments and Palm leaves on the path through which Jesus was walking over.
- It was all done to cushion his ride, as it is a custom which is observed on many Christian occasions. On top of that, palm fronds are considered to be a symbol of triumph.
- Palm Sunday was previously, known as the Pascha (Passover). To look back at the history and meaning of Palm Sunday, look at the Christian church history. With its origination in the Jerusalem Church, approximately around the late fourth century, Palm Sunday specifically was celebrated with prayers, hymns, and sermons.
- These were recited by the clergy and also people believing in Palm Sunday celebrations moved around the city visiting various holy sites.
- The last site to be visited by people in Jerusalem was the place where Christ soared up into heaven. Holy names and praises of Jesus are recited from the gospels and that is an important part of the Palm Sunday celebrations.
- By the 5th century, the celebrations of Palm Sunday had gone as far as Constantinople. But the traditions of Palm Sunday have changed over the sixth and seventh centuries, whereby two new Palm Sunday traditions have been introduced.
- There is a ritual which involves blessing with the palms, and also includes a morning procession substituting the one which took place in the morning. Palm Sunday in the eighth century, received a name “Dominica in Palmis,” the other name for Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday meaning
- Palm Sunday remembers the victorious entry of Jesus into Jerusalem for the sole purpose of celebrating Passover. The gospels witness the entrance of Jesus riding in the city on a donkey’s back, with the crowds laying over their cloaks and palm branches on the street.
- They sing praises for him “Hosanna to the Son of David” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” for honoring the long-awaited Messiah and the King.
- There is a special implication of Jesus riding a donkey and coming into Jerusalem. During the biblical times, there was a regional custom for the kings and the nobles to arrive in the procession by riding on a back of a donkey. Donkey, which is considered to be a symbol of peace – implies that those who ride upon them get their intentions peacefully solved.
Palm Sunday Plays
In execution of predicament, Jesus drove down the lanes of Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, and the crowds shouted and greeted Him singing praises “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” The people to deliver warmth, placed palm branches and their garments on the path through which Jesus treaded. This did not deliver a good impact among the religious leaders, those who had been jealous of Jesus for a long time. Their demand was that Jesus should pacify the crowd and stop them from shouting. He reverted that if the crowd kept quite, then the stones would cry out rejoicing and praising him.
- Marking triumph over all, Jesus entered Jerusalem with dignity and pride. This event changed the entire course of action in Jerusalem among the Christian community.
- The start of the Holy week, they welcomed and greeted him as that of a King but by the end of the week, they were demanding his death.
- The follower ship that He had, vanished in a moment in fear. None of his followers, who were close to him, really got the events of Palm Sunday and Holy Week cleared in their minds till Jesus returned back.
- In the Christian Calendar, the Palm Sunday was the sixth and last Sunday in Lent and the Sunday preceeding the Easter. It commenced the Holy Week and is considered to be one of the most pious days in the Christian calendar.
The Palm Sunday on 2020 would fall on April 10. Important days of Holy Week comprise of:
- Palm Sunday – Jesus enters Jerusalem.
- Maundy Thursday – The Last Supper and disloyalty.
- Good Friday – The detention, trial, crucifixion, death and funeral of Jesus.
- Easter Sunday – Jesus rises from the grave.
- Eludicidating on the details of Palm Sunday to the kids is really very important and that can be taken care of by enacting Palm Sunday plays. Plays of Palm Sunday can be really entertaining and informative as it has a story to tell. If visuals and crafts of Palm Sunday are coupled up with enactment of the creative Palm Sunday plays, then the real effect is surely going to be greater. You can also take the help of others to arrange these innovative Palm Sunday plays and at the same time try to explain the concept of Palm Sunday to the kids.
Way to Enact Palm Sunday Plays
- Explain the Palm Sunday story to the children.
- Tell them the concept behind Jesus’ traveling back to Jerusalem and also that it was his last earthly visit.
- Explain how the crowd greeted Him and also how Palm leaves were scattered on his way.
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