Will you be the “Palmesel” on Sunday?

A donkey - ©iStockphoto.com/GlobalPWith this Sunday being Palmsonntag – Palm Sunday, one of the questions in many German families this weekend will be: “wer wird der Palmesel sein?” (who is going to be the “Palmesel”?)

The Palmesel – literally the “palm donkey” – is a nickname given to the last person to get out of bed on Palm Sunday.

The tradition is not new, but it has mutated over time as it was originally used to refer to the last boy to enter the Church on that day.

Of course, the term refers to the donkey ridden by Christ into Jerusalem prior to his crucifixion, and since the middle ages German towns have held Palm Sunday processions – some with live donkeys, others with wooden ones.

About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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