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What is Palm Sunday?

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Quick Answer

Palm Sunday is a Christian feast that always occurs the Sunday before Easter. The feast celebrates the entering of Jesus into Jerusalem, as mentioned in the four Gospels, a week before his death and resurrection.

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What is Palm Sunday?
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Full Answer

The term "palm" comes from the story of the crowd scattering palm branches in front of Jesus as he rode into the city on a donkey to represent the peace he was bringing. The people who met him in the streets showed great joy and gave shouts of praise, which is a feeling churches try to recreate on the day of the feast. On the day before Palm Sunday, Christians knot palm leaves into crosses to be combined with candles that are lit during a vigil the night before the feast. Palm branches symbolize goodness and victory.

The holiday is one of the 12 feasts that occur during the Christian calendar year. It is part of an entire holy week that prepares for Easter, when the resurrection of Jesus Christ took place and the world was relieved of its sins via the death of the son of God, according to Christian mythology. The feast also celebrates how Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead; the night before has often been deemed "Lazarus Saturday." The people worshiped Jesus because of this miracle; Christians are expected to do so as well on Palm Sunday.

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