Palm Sunday

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the Sunday before Easter, celebrated in commemoration of Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
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Origin of Palm Sunday

before 1000; Middle English; Old English
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is Palm Sunday?

Palm Sunday is the day on which Christians commemorate Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem five days before his crucifixion and death.

It is the Sunday before Easter, the holiday on which Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week, which is the week before Easter and ends on Holy Saturday.

When is Palm Sunday?

In 2022, Palm Sunday falls on April 10. In 2023,  Palm Sunday 2023 falls on April 2.

Palm Sunday is always the Sunday before Easter, but Easter moves every year.

In Western Christianity, the date of Palm Sunday can fall between March 15 and April 18.

In the Orthodox Church, the date of Easter is calculated in a different way.

In 2022, the Orthodox Church will observe Palm Sunday on April 17. In 2023, the Orthodox Church will observe Palm Sunday on April 9.

Why is it called Palm Sunday?

The first records of the term Palm Sunday come from before 1000. It’s called Palm Sunday in reference to the palm leaves that the people of Jerusalem are said to have laid in the path of the donkey that Jesus was riding to welcome him.

In some churches, palm branches are distributed to the congregation to be waved, displayed, or carried in processions. These palms are sometimes saved until the next year, when they are burned so the ashes can be used in ceremonies on Ash Wednesday.

Palm Sunday is often observed in a celebratory way in remembrance of Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, with the rest of Holy Week turning to somber reflection as Good Friday approaches. Easter Sunday is treated as a time of celebration and is considered the most important Christian holiday.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Palm Sunday?

How is Palm Sunday discussed in real life?

In contrast to the somber reflection and fasting that marks the season of Lent and the rest of Holy Week, Christians often observe Palm Sunday in a celebratory way.



Try using Palm Sunday!

True or False?

Palm Sunday is always observed on the Sunday before Easter.

How to use Palm Sunday in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

the Sunday before Easter commemorating Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

The Sunday before Easter. It is celebrated by Christians (see also Christian) to commemorate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (see also Jerusalem) five days before his Crucifixion. On that occasion, the people of Jerusalem laid palm leaves in his path as a sign of welcome. Palms are carried or worn by worshipers in many churches on Palm Sunday.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.