We just attended an institute class in which the symbolism of the palm leaf was explained.
At the time of the Savior's life, and indeed
for centuries before that, a king would enter a city seated on a donkey as a
symbol of peace.
That was opposed to an army entering on horses with the intent to conquer.
The palm leaf was waved as a symbol of victory.
So when the Savior entered on a donkey, he was telling the Jews that he was a king, and the waving of the palm fronds was symbolic of his victory, only not in a political sense.
This was very threatening to the Sadducees and the Pharisees, since they interpreted it as the end of life as they knew it ~ it was a threat to their livelihood. And that's why they wanted Jesus crucified.
~ by Julie Thornock
On the day of Jesus' "triumphal entry" into Jerusalem the week before his death, the people cut down branches of trees to lay in his way, and they shouted "Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest" (Matthew 21:8-9; Mark 11:8-10; Luke 19:36-40)
This is reminisant of one of the Jewish festivals (I don't remember which one!) when the congregation waves palm leaves before the Lord - at the entrance to the temple/tabernacle - and recites a "hosanna" shout... Which is probably, in my totally personal opinion, the origin of the "Hosanna Shout" Latter-day Saints perform at temple dedications and at other occasions directed by the President of the Church. (But we use hankerchiefs...) The palm is significant because it is one of the very few fruit-brearing plants that grow readily in the desert - the gospel symbolism to this simply cannot be looked over as the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what will gather us and make us bear heavenly fruit in this "desret" of mortal life.
~ by Forbes Bruce
... Forbes Bruce: This is reminisant of one of the Jewish festivals (I don't remember which one!)
Are you thinking of Sukkot? That's when they
build shelters of palm boughs to commemorate the sojourn in the wilderness, part
of the Feast of Tabernacles. The Bible Dictionary says the Feast of the
Dedication also included the "bearing of the branches of palms and of other
~ by JaneAnne