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The History of Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week, which is the remembrance of Christ’s last days before his crucifixion, and the Sunday before Easter the following week. Celebrated by Christians, Palm Sunday is the remembrance of Jesus Christ when he entered Jerusalem and people greeted him waving palm tree branches. This event serves as a reminder to Christians to welcome Jesus into their hearts and are ready to follow him. 

Christ rode a donkey into Jerusalem and the people there welcomed him as their king, thinking that he would save them from the Roman’s enslavement. Just days later, Christ was crucified. 

As Christ approached the city, the cheering crowd threw palm branches at him. The long palm branches were common in the Holy Land and symbolized goodness and victory. When kings or warriors would come into the city, the people would welcome them by throwing the palm branches down in front of them. 

He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, which went against the norm due to conquering kings usually riding in a on a chariot or on the back of horses. The donkey was a symbol of peace, but it also represented how humble Christ was. 

Christ had already known that he would try to be killed but still went anyways to save the people from their sins. 

In many churches, Palm Sunday is celebrated with the sharing of palm branches, symbolizing the branches that was placed in front of Christ when he entered Jerusalem. 

Palm Sunday began in Jerusalem Church somewhere in the late third century. Traditions would consist of singing hymns, or religious songs and bible readings as people traveled through many holy places throughout the city. At the site where Christ ascended to heaven, the ministry would recite the biblical passage of Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem.  

At dusk, the people would go back to the city saying, “Blessed is he that comes in the name of the lord.” 

This tradition continued until the sixth and seventh centuries when the ceremonial blessing of the palms was included. By the eighth century, a morning procession substituted the evening one and the Western Church was celebrating what we now know as “Palm Sunday.” 

Today, Palm Sunday is celebrated by going to church wearing red, in honor of the blood that Jesus shed on the cross. Hymns are sung throughout the day and palm branches of all varied sizes are being lifted and blessed. 

Once the branches are blessed, some families get to take them home and place them on a desktop of shelf in memory of the event. 

Mele Taufoou, a junior at Tracy High, explains how she and her family celebrate Palm Sunday. “We go to church and sing a lot of songs and it’s pretty fun being there with my family.” Taufoou says. 

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About the Contributor
Anaiyah Fifita
Anaiyah Fifita, Reporter
Anaiyah Fifita was born on October 28, 2008, and is a freshman at Tracy High School. She was born and raised in East Palo Alto, California and has lived there for most of her life. She moved to Tracy in 2020. She attended Williams Middle School for all three years but had to do distance learning for her sixth grade. She wasn’t too sure about middle school and was nervous, but she went head on. During her time there she met the most amazing people and friends that she’ll never forget. She hopes that high school will be like that, but more exciting. Fifita has one older brother and two younger sisters. She loves her family more than anything and loves hanging out with them. She loves hanging out with her friends and listening to music. Her favorite artist to listen to is Tyler the Creator but besides him, she loves to listen to anything and everything. Fifita’s main goal for high school is to do very well, so she can attend a good college, as she wants to be a successful person overall.

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