Marking the beginning of the Holy Week, Christians in Kerala on Sunday observed Palm Sunday commemorating the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem ahead of his capture and crucifixion.
The faithful gathered in large numbers in churches of major Christian denominations including the Catholic and Orthodox rite across the state, where senior prelates led special masses and prayers.
Bearing palm fronds, the congregations came out of churches and held processions in towns.
Archbishop M Soosai Packyam led prayers at the St Joseph's Cathedral in the state capital.
In Syrian Christian tradition of Kerala, Palm Sunday is also called "Osana Perunal", referring to the welcome accorded to Jesus by his followers when he entered the holy city riding on a donkey.
The faithful will observe the Holy Week as a season of prayers and renunciation till Easter Sunday, marking Christ's resurrection after crucifixion on Good Friday.