When Is Holy Week in 2021? Holiday Dates for Easter and More

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Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter; it always starts on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter. Here are the dates for Holy Week in 2021: Sunday March 28 - Saturday April 3. Easter is on Sunday, April 4. 

Important Dates of LentBrief Overview of Significance2021 Dates
Palm SundayCelebrates Jesus's triumphant entry into JerusalemMarch 28, 2021
Holy WeekThe week leading up to EasterMarch 28 - April 3, 2021
Maundy ThursdayCommemorates the foot washing and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the ApostlesApril 1, 2021
Good FridayCommemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at CalvaryApril 2, 2021
Holy SaturdayCommemorates Jesus' body resting in the tombApril 3, 2021
Easter SundayCelebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and his victory over sin and death. April 4, 2021

For a timeline of Holy Week click here.

Get your FREE 8-Day Prayer and Scripture Guide - Praying Through the Holy Week HERE. Print your own copy for a beautiful daily devotional leading up to Easter.

What Is Palm Sunday?

“Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter that begins the Holy Week. It is the day that we remember and celebrate the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem as Savior and King. As Jesus rode a donkey into the town of Jerusalem a large crowd gathered and laid palm branches and their cloaks across the road, giving Jesus royal treatment. The hundreds of people shouted ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’"
-Excerpted from 5 Things about Palm Sunday that Remind Us Christ is King by Debbie McDaniel

What Is Spy Wednesday (Holy Wednesday)?

We don't know much about what happens on Holy Wednesday. Most likely Jesus and his disciples prepared for Passover, which would occur on Friday. The term "Spy" refers to Judas and how he betrayed our Lord to the religious leader in exchange for silver coins.
-Excerpted from Why is the Wednesday of Holy Week Called "Spy Wednesday"? By Hope Bolinger

What Is Maundy Thursday?

"Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter, believed to be the day when Jesus celebrated his final Passover with His disciples. Most notably, that Passover meal was when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples in an extraordinary display of humility. He then commanded them to do the same for each other. Christ's 'mandate' is commemorated on Maundy Thursday---"maundy" being a shortened form of mandatum (Latin), which means 'command.' It was on the Thursday of Christ's final week before being crucified and resurrected that He said these words to his disciples: 'A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another' (John 13:34)."
-Excerpted from What Is Maundy Thursday? By Alex Crain

What Is Good Friday?

"For Christians, Good Friday is a crucial day of the year because it celebrates what we believe to be the most momentous weekend in the history of the world. Ever since Jesus died and was raised, Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation. Paul considered it to be “of first importance” that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3). On Good Friday we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (1 John 1:10). It is followed by Easter, the glorious celebration of the day Jesus was raised from the dead, heralding his victory over sin and death and pointing ahead to a future resurrection for all who are united to him by faith (Romans 6:5)."
-Excerpted from What’s So Good about Good Friday? By Justin Holcomb

What Is Passover?

"This year, the Passover Holiday will begin on the evening of Friday, April 19th and end on Saturday, April 27th. Passover is a traditional Jewish holiday with biblical origins. It is a celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish people by God from their bondage in ancient Egypt under the guidance of Moses. Passover commemorates the story of the Exodus as depicted in the Hebrew Bible, notably in the Book of Exodus. Passover is a spring holiday and was associated with the sacrifice of the "first-fruits of the barley" during the presence of the Temple in Jerusalem, barley being the first seed to mature and collected in the Land of Israel."
-Excerpted from When Is Passover? Compiled by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

What Is Easter?

"Easter is a very significant date within Christianity and is the foundation of the Christian faith. Jesus, the Son of God, fulfilled prophecy and through his death, has given the gift of eternal life in heaven to those who believe in his death and resurrection. Read the entire biblical account of Resurrection Day in Matthew 28, Mark 16, and Luke 24 and more Easter Bible verses at BibleStudyTools.com."
-Excerpted from What Is Easter? By Susan E. Richardson.

Holy Week Prayers
You can read a prayer for each day of Holy Week here, starting with a Psalm Sunday Prayer.

A Prayer to Start the Holy Week

Matthew 21:1-11; Psalm 118:1-2; Psalm 118:19-29

"Lord God, I give you thanks, for you are good, and your mercy is endless. Here I stand, at the start of this holy week, This week in which your church remembers Jesus’ passion and death, And I am distracted by many things. Turn my eyes now to the One who comes in your name The one who opens the gates of righteousness The one who answers when we call. I bless you, Lord, for shining your light upon me, And for sending your son to us, in human frailty. To walk the road we walk. Open my eyes that I may see him coming, And may praise him with a pure heart. And may walk in the way of his suffering, And share also in his resurrection. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen." -Rachel Marie Stone

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/RomoloTavani

This article is part of our larger Holy Week and Easter resource library centered around the events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We hope these articles help you understand the meaning and story behind important Christian holidays and dates and encourage you as you take time to reflect on all that God has done for us through his son Jesus Christ!

What is the Holy Week?
What Is Palm Sunday?
What is Maundy Thursday?
What Is Good Friday?

What Is Easter?
Easter Prayers

At Easter, the Son of God took on the world’s sin and defeated the devil, death, and grave. How is it, then, that history’s most glorious moment is surrounded by fearful fishermen, despised tax collectors, marginalized women, feeble politicians, and traitorous friends?

In The Characters of Easter, you’ll become acquainted with the unlikely collection of ordinary people who witnessed the miracle of Christ’s death and resurrection. This FREE podcast provides a fresh approach to the Lenten season and can be used as a devotional or study for both individuals and groups.

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