This year, the Christian festival of Palm Sunday falls on the 9th April. The feast commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem before his crucifixion and resurrection.
Palm Sunday celebrations
In many Christian services Palm Sunday celebrations include a procession of the faithful carrying palms, representing the palm branches the crowd scattered in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem.
As you might expect, other traditions have developed alongside the more general ones depending on regional differences. In Finland, Virpominen is popular; children dress up as Easter witches and go door to door collecting money and sweets.
In the Philippines, communities re-enact Jesus' journey. A statue of Christ on a donkey (Humenta) or a priest on horseback is greeted by the faithful waving palaspás (palm branches). Girls toss flowers and sing, meanwhile older women spread cloths along the processional route, to be walked upon by the Humenta or the priest. The palaspás are blessed and taken home to be hung near doorways and windows. The Church says this is to welcome Christ, but many Filipinos think that palaspás deter evil spirits.
Children in Latvia
Children in Latvia have a rude awakening on Palm Sunday morning as they are traditionally roused by taps with a willow branch.