I went to a Domingo De Ramos (Palm Sunday) celebration last weekend at a local Catholic church here in Barcelona.
If you're like me and need to brush up on your Christian traditions, Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus' entry into Jerusalem in the days just prior to the Last Supper. From what I understand, people placed clothes and tree branches on the path for him to ride his donkey on. Today this is symbolized by the use of palm fronds (or other tree branches) for the ceremonies and processions that take place in front of the church. This is a photo of some members of the congregation that gathered outside of a local Barcelona church:
As with many traditions in Catalunya, Palm Sunday has been given a local touch. Palmas (for girls) and Palmones (for boys) are artistically-designed palm (for lack of a better description) sculptures given to the kids by their godparents. The Palmones look like sort of like a (shepherd's) staff and the Palmas are much more elaborate three-dimensional objects. I saw some that were highly decorated, such as with Barça logos or Hello Kitty, as well as covered with candy. These are some of the kids that were up on stage with their palms:
During the celebration, the palms are blessed and then taken into the church while everyone attends mass. They are later hung behind the door or on the balcony of the child's home for protection from harm.