Thiruvananthapuram: Churches in Kerala on Sunday were crowded on the occasion of Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday is celebrated with a lot of reverence as churches distribute palm leaves, freshly cut from coconut trees, to commemorate Jesus Christ's entry into Jerusalem, when palm branches were placed in his path, before his arrest and crucifixion on Good Friday.
Starting today, the Christians will observe the next seven days with lots of religious fervour and will celebrate Easter on April 5.
During this period most of them turn vegetarians and pay more than one visit to the Church in the coming days.
Christians form nearly a quarter of Kerala's 33 million people and churches across the state was overflowing with the laity turning up in good numbers to take part in the Palm Sunday mass.
"I had a tough time yesterday to get hold of a coconut climber to get the required coconut leaves that are greenish yellow in colour to be cut from the coconut tree. I had to pay him Rs.500 for the job to be done," said Priyan Joseph, who heads the committee of a capital city church.
Across the state, in several churches, it was the the senior bishops and heads of the various churches who lead the Palm Sunday mass.
"The mass got delayed because our church was overflowing with people and it took a long time to distribute the leaves. These leaves are taken home and displayed in the best part of the home and on the coming Christmas eve it's returned to the church to be part of the bonfire," said Mini Antony, a housewife in Kottayam.