Palm Sunday is an Easter celebration that commemorates the fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 where Jesus makes his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. The event took place one week prior to His resurrection, and it is a day that kicks off the Holy Week.
But why the palms? The palms we now wave in our Palm Sunday celebrations represent the palms that were waved by the crowd and placed in Jesus' path when he rode the donkey into Jerusalem. In many churches the palms are then saved to be burned after and used the following year in the Ash Wednesday services.
Many churches also call Palm Sunday by "Passion Sunday." References to Jesus' entry into Jerusalem can be found in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19: 28-44, and John 12:12-19.
Common phrases heard on Palm Sunday have their roots in the original celebration. Many cheer, "Hosannah," which means "Save us now," as many saw the Christ as one that would save them from the Roman rule. Today, though, Palm Sunday celebrations take place around the world.