On Sunday, 13 April, Christians, both Western and Orthodox, celebrated Palm Sunday, which commemorates the triumphal return of Jesus to Jerusalem. It also signals the beginning of the Holy Week, which leads up to Easter, the most significant celebration of the spiritual year for many Christians. This year, the Orthodox and Western calendars coincide and all Christians celebrate Easter at the same time.
Palm leaves, branches of native shrubs or leaves of trees in countries where palms do not grow, were carried in processions, used as decorations or weaved and knotted in religious symbols to mark this significant day on the spiritual calendars.
After today’s celebrations, small remnants of the decorations will adorn special places in the houses of the faithful all over the world as both a blessing and a reminder, until Palm Sunday of the year to come.