Millions of people from across the globe celebrated Palm Sunday, which commemorates the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, riding a donkey as crowds greeted him and spread out palm branches in his path. Marked on the last Sunday before Easter, popular traditions include processions with palm branches, the blessing of palms and the construction of small palm crosses. While the story of Palm Sunday is told in all four gospels in the Bible, Matthew 21 is the one that is read at most church services.

Palm Sunday 2016
Catholics hold palm fronds during a Palm Sunday celebration in Nahuizalco, El SalvadorJose Cabezas/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
A member of the Brotherhood of Gentlemen Legionnaires of Asturias feeds their mascot on Palm Sunday in Oviedo, northern SpainEloy Alonso/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
A women holds traditional palm during the Catholic Palm Sunday procession on the streets of San Pedro Sacatepequez, GuatemalaSaul Martinez/ Reuters

Different processions were observed all over the world: in Paraguay, people carried a statue of Jesus Christ on a donkey; while Syrian Roman Catholic scouts took part in a parade after mass. In Oviedo, northern Spain, the governing body of the "Estudiantes" brotherhood decided that penance could not be done in the streets due to the rain.

Pope Francis lead the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in a Palm Sunday service held at the Vatican. After mentioning the part of the gospel recounting how Jesus was denied justice and abandoned to his fate, he criticised those who he said were washing their hands of the fate of desperate refugees, adding in unscripted words: "I am thinking of so many other people, so many marginalised people, so many asylum seekers, so many refugees. There are so many who don't want to take responsibility for their destiny."

Palm Sunday is considered one of the most important dates on the Christian calendar as it represents the beginning of Holy Week, which focuses on Jesus' last days before he was crucified and is celebrated by almost all Christian denominations.

Palm Sunday 2016
Catholic faithful attend a Palm Sunday mass at the Cathedral of Managua, NicaraguaInti Ocon/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
A woman and her daughter attend a Palm Sunday mass at the Cathedral of Managua in Nicaragua
Palm Sunday 2016
Catholics carry a statue of Jesus Christ on a donkey during a Palm Sunday procession outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Asuncion, ParaguayJorge Adorno/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
A woman adjusts the foot of a statue before Catholics carry a statue of Jesus Christ on a donkey during a Palm Sunday procession outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Asuncion, ParaguayJorge Adorno/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
Women walk on Palm Sunday in Oviedo, northern Spain. The governing body of the "Estudiantes" brotherhood decided that penance could not be carried out in the streets due to rainEloy Alonso/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
Two women attend a Palm Sunday procession in Pontevedra, northern SpainMiguel Vidal/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
Men holds traditional palm, made of wicker twigs and decorated with colourful flowers and ribbons, during the Catholic Palm Sunday procession and traditional contest for the largest handmade palm in Lipnica Murowana near Krakow, southern PolandLukasz Krajewski/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
Roman Catholic scouts parade after a mass marking Palm Sunday in the capital Damascus, SyriaLouai Beshara/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
A woman balances newspapers on her head as she holds a palm frond during the Catholic Palm Sunday procession on the streets of San Pedro Sacatepequez, GuatemalaSaul Martinez/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
Penitents walk after the governing body of the 'Estudiantes' brotherhood decided that penance could not be carried out in the streets due to rain on Palm Sunday in Oviedo, northern SpainEloy Alonso/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
Men carry a statue of Jesus Christ during a Catholic Palm Sunday procession on the streets of San Pedro Sacatepequez, GuatemalaSaul Martinez/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
Pope Francis walks in a procession as he leads the Palm Sunday mass at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, RomeTony Gentile/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
A man holds a religous icon decorated with a palm frond during a procession on Palm Sunday at the 20 de Julio Church in Bogota, ColombiaJohn Vizcaino/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
Cardinals attend the Palm Sunday mass led by Pope Francis at Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, RomeMax Rossi/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
Pope Francis blesses the palms with holy water during the Palm Sunday Mass at Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City, RomeFranco Origlia/ Getty Images
Palm Sunday 2016
Colombian Catholic priests listen to confessions from penitents on Palm Sunday at the 20 de Julio Church in Bogota, ColombiaJohn Vizcaino/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
A child walks passed the Cathedral of Managua in Nicaragua on Palm SundayInti Ocon/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
Father Joseph Dandan sits near candles he made as they are put to dry, before being used on Palm Sunday, in Salhiya town near Sidon, southern LebanonAli Hashisho/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
A woman attends a Palm Sunday mass at the Cathedral of Managu, Nicaragua
Palm Sunday 2016
A nun attends the Palm Sunday Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City, RomeFranco Origlia/ Getty Images
Palm Sunday 2016
Christian Maronite children hold palm fronds during a Palm Sunday procession in the coastal city of Tripoli, northern LebanonOmar Ibrahim/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
An Israeli border policeman stands guard during a Palm Sunday procession on the Mount of Olives in JerusalemAmir Cohen/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
A woman prays on a hill with wooden crosses as she celebrates Palm Sunday in the town of Oshmiany, BelarusSergei Gapon/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
A man sits with his donkey prior to participating in a Palm Sunday procession at Wesley Church in Secunderabad, the twin city of Hyderabad, southern IndiaNoah Seelam/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
Members of the clergy hold palm fronds as they take part in a Palm Sunday procession at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old CityAmir Cohen/ Reuters
Palm Sunday 2016
A nun attends a procession during the Palm Sunday march at the Mount of Olives in JerusalemThomas Coex/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
People attend a Palm Sunday mass at the Cathedral of Managua in NicaraguaInti Ocon/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
A woman collects palm fronds for a Palm Sunday service at Wesley Church in Secunderabad, the twin city of Hyderabad, southern IndiaNoah Seelam/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
People attend a Palm Sunday mass at the Cathedral of Managua, NicaraguaInti Ocon/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
A man takes part in the Palm Sunday celebrations, which marks the beginning of the Holy Week in Tegucigalpa, HondurasOrlando Sierra/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
Palms are raised as people attend a Palm Sunday mass at the Cathedral of Managua, NicaraguaInti Ocon/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
People hold palm leaves during the Palm Sunday celebration at Saint Pierre Church in Port-au-Prince, HaitiHector Retamal/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
A man dressed as Jesus Christ carries a cross as he participates with other devotees in a Palm Sunday procession at a Church in Chennai, IndiaArun Sankar/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
Women attend a Palm Sunday mass at the Cathedral of Managua in NicaraguaInti Ocon/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
Children take part in Palm Sunday celebrations in Asuncion, ParaguayNorberto Duarte/ AFP
Palm Sunday 2016
A woman carries palm fronds during a Palm Sunday procession at a church in ChennaiArun Sankar/ AFP