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Palm Sunday in the United States

Many Christians in the United States 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 States.

The palm and the cross are Christian symbols that are seen in churches at a Palm Sunday service or mass.

©iStockphoto.com/duckycards

What Do People Do?

Programs of sacred music are performed in many towns and cities in the United States on Palm Sunday. They are often sponsored by and held in local churches but they may also be part of the musical community’s regular concert series. These programs usually begin on or before Palm Sunday and may continue throughout Holy Week. Bethany College’s Messiah Festival in Lindsborg, Kansas, has been held during Holy Week for more than 100 years.

Plays or pageants that focus on Holy Week themes are also performed on Palm Sunday. The Blessing of the Fleet in St Augustine, Florida, takes place on Palm Sunday each year. Shrimp trawlers and other fishing boats, as well as privately owned vessels, visit the town to receive a blessing. It is also customary for Christians to place blessed palm leaves in the shape of a cross behind religious images or statues in homes, stores and restaurants in the United States.

Public Life

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

Background and Symbols

Palm Sunday is observed among many Christian churches as part of Holy Week in the United States. The term Pascua Florida, which in Spain originally referred to Palm Sunday, was later applied to the festive season of Easter Week. The state of Florida received its name when Ponce de Leon first sighted the land and named it in 1513 most likely because the date was around Easter.

Palm leaves symbolize victory and joy among many Christians in the United States. Some churches use silk plant leaves or substitute palm leaves with olive branches on Palm Sunday because palm leaves can be difficult to find in some areas in the United States.

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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