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Palm Sunday in the United Kingdom

Many Christians in the United Kingdom remember Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week. This day is also on the Sunday before Easter Sunday.

Is Palm Sunday a Public Holiday?

Palm Sunday is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, April 14, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in the United Kingdom.

Cross palms
Many congregation members receive palms at Palm Sunday church services.
Many congregation members receive palms at Palm Sunday church services.
©iStockphoto.com/duckycards

What Do People Do?

Many churches in the United Kingdom have special services to celebrate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. It is also a time for many Christians to remember his suffering before his death and resurrection. Many churches provide congregation members with small crosses made from palm leaves at special Palm Sunday services.  The priests or ministers bless these palms, which are also used to make the Ash Wednesday ashes for the next year. Many churches distribute palms in the shape of a cross.

Churches may also have a procession that involves people singing songs and waving palm leaves. Some churches give people pax cakes at the end of a service. Children’s activities on or around this event may include story telling about biblical events relating to Palm Sunday and crafts such as making palm crosses.

Public Life

Palm Sunday is not a federal holiday in the United Kingdom. However, it is held on a Sunday, which is a non-school day and non-working day for many people living in the United Kingdom.

Background and Symbols

Many churches in the United Kingdom observe Palm Sunday as part of Holy Week. Palm Sunday in England was traditionally called Olive or Branch Sunday, as well as Sallow, Willow, Yew or Blossom Sunday. It was also called Sunday of the Willow Boughs. These names represent the local replacements for the traditional palm branches. Palms signify victory and joy, while pax cakes symbolize peace and goodwill.

About Palm Sunday in other countries

Read more about Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010SunMar 28Palm SundayChristian 
2011SunApr 17Palm SundayChristian 
2012SunApr 1Palm SundayChristian 
2013SunMar 24Palm SundayChristian 
2014SunApr 13Palm SundayChristian 
2015SunMar 29Palm SundayChristian 
2016SunMar 20Palm SundayChristian 
2017SunApr 9Palm SundayChristian 
2018SunMar 25Palm SundayChristian 
2019SunApr 14Palm SundayChristian 
2020SunApr 5Palm SundayChristian 

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