Palm Sunday marks the day when Jesus reputedly arrived in Jerusalem, being greeted by people waving palm branches.
In the Catholic church, Lent includes Palm Sunday and continues up to Maundy Thursday, even if that happens to make more than 40 days in any given year. Even if in any particular year Lent ends by or on Palm Sunday, they’ve still got you: even though the following week, leading up to Easter, known as Holy Week, is not part of Lent, those days are also fasting days with the same rules as Lent. So whether the week is covered by Lent or by those days in their own right, there’s still no feasting until Easter.
Dried pieces of palm fronds, usually woven into simple crosses, are given out at Anglican and Catholic churches. You’re supposed to burn them or bury them when you don’t want them any longer, not just chuck them in the garbage. Leftover palm fronds from this year will be burnt and used as ashes for Ash Wednesday next year.
There was a time when palm fronds weren’t always just flown in; people living in areas where palm trees don’t grow used to use things such as pussy willow branches, wild flowers, etc.
Figs used to be traditional to serve on this day.