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March 29, 2010
Christians mark Holy Week
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Hundreds of Christians from around the world marched from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem to mark Palm Sunday, on March 28, retracing the steps of Jesus 2,000 years ago. The pilgrims waved national and church flags and followed a white donkey, which according to Christian tradition was the way Jesus entered the holy city. Others celebrated at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, and in the Gaza Strip, home to a small Christian population. According to the Bible, Palm Sunday marks the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem, greeted by cheering crowds bearing palm fronds. It marks the start of Holy Week, which concludes with Easter the following Sunday. This year the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Churches mark Holy Week on the same dates. The Orthodox Church uses a different calendar from the others, but they coincide every few years. (27 images)

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Bulgarian Orthodox believers light candles during the Orthodox Palm Sunday service in the golden-domed Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia on March 28. AFP / Getty Images / Dimitar Dilkoff

Roman Catholic devotees carry crucifixes along the main road of the East Timor capital, Dili, to mark Palm Sunday on March 28. Palm Sunday marks the sixth and last Sunday of the Christian holy month of Lent. AFP / Getty Images / Mario Jonny Dos Santos

Filipino devotees wave palm fronds during blessing rites outside a church in suburban Manila, Philippines on Sunday March 28. Roman Catholics around the country observe Palm Sunday to signify the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem and to usher the start of Holy Week. AP / Aaron Favila

A Filipino vendor sleeps next to her Christian rosaries for sale near the Quiapo church in Manila on March 29. The Philippines is Asia's bastion of Catholicism and will observe the Holy Week traditions in the run up to Easter, events including gruesome mock-crucifixions where participants are really nailed to the cross to recall Jesus' sufferings. AFP / Getty Images / Noel Celis

Catholics walk in a procession held ahead of the Easter Holy Week in Moscow Saturday, March 27. AP / Sergey Ponomarev

A penitent of the El Amor brotherhood take part in a Holy Week procession in Cordoba, Spain, Sunday, March 28. Hundreds of processions take place throughout Spain during the Easter Holy Week. AP / Manu Fernandez

Children take part in a Holy Week procession in Cordoba, Spain, Sunday, March 28. AP / Manu Fernandez

A member of the Jesus Nazareno brotherhood brushes the hair of a Christ figure as part of the preparations ahead of the Easter Holy Week in Vejer de la Frontera, a Spanish hilltop town in the province of Cadiz, Andalusia, late Friday March 26. AP / Emilio Morenatti

Musicians from the "El Despojado" brotherhood blow their horns as they take part in a procession in Seville, southern Spain, Sunday, March 28. AP / Emilio Morenatti

Penitents take part in the 'La Paz' brotherhood procession during the Holy Week in Sevilla on March 28. Christian believers around the world mark the Holy Week of Easter in celebration of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. AFP / Getty Images / Cristina Quicler

Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful as he arrives to celebrate Palm Sunday procession in Saint Peter square at the Vatican, on March 28. AFP / Getty Images / Andreas Solaro

An elderly woman leans on a cross during a Palm Sunday memorial for the departed in Frumusani, southern Romania, early Sunday, March 28. Orthodox believers in the village gather at midnight, light fires at the graves and share food in memory of their dead relatives. AP / Vadim Ghirda

Polish Catholic pilgrims carry their church's statue of Madonna as they walk down the Mount of Olives to the Old City during the traditional Palm Sunday procession on March 28, in Jerusalem, Israel. Getty Images / David Silverman

Palestinian boys try to sell palm branches to Christian pilgrims as they wait for the traditional Palm Sunday procession from the Mount of Olives to the Old City on March 28, in Jerusalem, Israel. Getty Images / David Silverman

Priesthood seminary children participate in the traditional Palm Sunday procession on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Sunday, March 28. AP / Sebastian Scheiner

Roman Catholic clergy and worshippers hold palm tree branches as they circle the aedicule during the Palm Sunday mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's old city on March 28. AFP / Getty Images / Gali Tibbon

The head of the Greek Orthodox church in Bethlehem bishop Theofilactos (C) holds the Palm Sunday mass at the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on March 28. AFP / Getty Images / Musa Al-Shaer

Palestinian children play with palm branches after the traditional Palm Sunday procession, in Jerusalem's old city, Sunday, March 28. AP / Tara Todras-Whitehill

Christians hold palm fronds as they leave after Palm Sunday mass at the San Francisco church in La Paz, Sunday, March 28. AP / Dado Galdieri

An Indigenous Christian woman holds a palm frond during Palm Sunday mass at the San Francisco church in La Paz, Sunday, March 28. AP / Dado Galdieri

People hold up palm fronds and other plants during Palm Sunday celebrations in Bogota. Sunday, March 28. AP / Christian Escobar Mora

Christians attend Palm Sunday mass at the San Francisco church in La Paz, Sunday, March 28. AP / Dado Galdieri

A boy carries a wicker basket with palms during the traditional Palm Sunday procession on March 28, in San Pedro Sacatepequez, 25 km west of Guatemala City. AFP / Getty Images / Johan Ordonez

Catholics attend Palm Sunday mass at a church in Caracas, Sunday, March 28. AP / Ariana Cubillos

People hold palm fronds as they attend Palm Sunday mass in Port-au-Prince, Sunday, March 28. AP / Jorge Saenz

Aimee Galicia, of Toronto, left, holds palms as she and others attend Palm Sunday Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, Sunday March 28. AP / Tina Fineberg

A cross, set on the US-Mexico Border fence by members of the Pro-migrant coalition, symbolizes the "Way of the cross of migrant Jesus" ahead of the holy week celebrations in Tijuana, Mexico, Friday, March 26. AP / Guillermo Arias

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