Palm Sunday heralds in the beginning of the quiet or holy week for Christians which leads up to Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday or in Latin Palmarum got its name from palm branches which on that day were blessed in Catholic churches. After that begins the week which leads up to Easter and includes Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and Holy Saturday. This year, of course, things are quite a bit different but we can mention the traditions.
Palm Sunday symbolizes the day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was greeted with songs of praise and the road ahead was laid out with clothing and palm branches. However, his triumph ride was not heading for a throne but for the cross. On this day churches read about the burdens that Christ had to bear and people are reminded to ask for forgiveness for their sins.
Palm Sunday was first celebrated in the 4th century in Byzantium. The traditions reached Germany in the 11th century and finally also reached Latvia.
In Latvia where palms are not common this Sunday has become known as Pupolu Svetdiena or Pussy Willow Sunday as the pussy willow is another symbol of this time. It is a traditional ritual to wake up people in the early morning with a swat from a pussy willow branch.
Does your country celebrate with palm branches?
Did you celebrate Palm Sunday at home today?