What Is Holy Week?

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(Photo: Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte)Catholics carry a holy cross at a street parade during a special Good Friday mass in Colombo March 29, 2013. Holy Week is celebrated in many Christian traditions during the week before Easter.

Each year Christians around the world, particularly in liturgical traditions, reenact the final moments of Christ's life on earth as part of a weeklong observation now known as Holy Week.

This week's origins can be traced back to the earliest Christians who saw the need to commemorate these last days of Jesus to anchor believers in their faith.

According to EarlyChristians.org, the death of Jesus was considered so historically significant that the Church "sought the need to celebrate liturgically this salvific event," installing a formal rite for this to be sacramentally renewed every year.

The days of this week are Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. (Click slideshow for more)

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