Palm Sunday in Hawaii is celebrated similarly to many places on the mainland US and around the world–palm fronds are brought to, or made at, church to illustrate the events of the original Palm Sunday in Israel more than 2,000 years ago. Here, the re-enactment is perhaps even easier to understand because palm trees grow in abundance, and a former and present monarchy are seen in the islands.
Real palm fronds are brought into churches to help celebrate and teach children and adults about Passion Week–the Christian observance of Jesus’ final week of life.
Coconut palms and a few others were brought to these islands by the first Hawaiian settlers as a plant essential for survival. The food, wood, and leaves were all used to produce the basics of life in pre-Western Hawaii. Today, palms of nearly every variety grace the Hawaiian hillsides.