By Millicent Awuor
Christians around the world more so catholic faithful Sunday joined the rest of the world observing Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday marks the triumphant entry of Jesus in Jerusalem on a donkey, just a few days before he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 apostles, put on trial and crucified.
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy week. It is a solemn date where Christians pay their respects to Jesus and reflect on the sacrifices he made by his death on the cross. The day is called ‘Palm Sunday’ as it commemorates the day the people of Jerusalem threw palm leaves to the floor as a greeting when he arrived.
Today Palm Sunday is observed by a ritual procession of people carrying palm branches, or if these are not available, branches from yew, willow and olive trees into church.
For this reason Palm Sunday is sometimes called Branch Sunday. These palms are then blessed, and sometimes fashioned into crosses.
Palm Sunday comes the Sunday before Easter and is also the final day of lent, 40 days of prayer, fasting and alms giving.
Because the palms are blessed they cannot simply be thrown out as rubbish or discarded.
Instead, the palms are burned just before lent and the ashes used to mark parishioner’s foreheads on Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of lent.