JERUSALEM — The Jewish feast of Passover coincided with Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week for Catholics and Evangelicals over the weekend with a convergence of celebrations in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Passover began on Saturday night as Shabbat was ending. And while Jews were observing the first full day of Passover on Sunday with walks to the Western Wall for prayers, Christians were kicking off the beginning of Holy Week with processions on Palm Sunday.
Normally, this time of year is one of the most crowded in Israel, especially in the Old City, as both Christians and Jews from around the world join the locals in celebrating their holidays in the Holy Land. But with no tourists this year due to COVID restrictions, the Old City was relatively empty. However, the churches were open to the public in a limited capacity.
Last year's celebrations were limited to a few representatives from each denomination with . This year for Palm Sunday, the processions were slightly more full and better attended than last year's festivities with fewer COVID restrictions.
Usually, churches are packed for all of Holy Week with various events marking the days leading up to Jesus’ Last Supper, Crucifixion and Resurrection.
Indigenous Christian communities mark the holidays with processions of drums and bagpipes, leading the faithful to services at different churches.
Orthodox Easter is on May 2 this year.
We will continue to cover this week's Holy Week observances for ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS.
Nicole Jansezian was the news editor and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS.