Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 20: Marking the beginning of the Holy Week, Christians in Kerala today observed the 'Palm Sunday' with religious fervour, commemorating the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem ahead of his crucifixion.
Faithfuls thronged churches of major Christian denominations in large numbers and attended special masses and prayers across the state.
Holding blessed palm fronds in their hands, the devotees, irrespective of age barriers, also took out processions in villages and towns.
According to the Christian belief, 'Palm Sunday', known as 'oshana njayar' in local parlance, is observed to mark the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem where people, irrespective of rich and poor, greeted him by waving palm branches.
Churches distributed palm leaves among devotees as a remembrance of this Biblical episode. In the city, Archbishop M Soosa Pakiam led the Palm Sunday prayers at the St Joseph's Metropolitan Cathedral and Cardinal Mar Baselios Cleemis led the mass at St Mary's Cathedral.
Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamalay archdiocese, led the prayers at the St Mary's Basilica in Kochi.
The faithful will observe fast and hold special prayers in the next week till Easter Sunday on March 27, marking Christ's resurrection after crucifixion on Good Friday.