What is Maundy Thursday and how is it celebrated?

Last updated at 16:09
A purse with Maundy money

Maundy Thursday is part of the Christian celebration of Easter and marks the night of the Last Supper as told in the Bible.

At the Last Supper, Jesus commanded that people should love one another, he then washed the feet of his disciples as an act of kindness.

Last supper stained glassGetty Images

To celebrate Maundy Thursday, the Pope traditionally washes and kisses the feet of 12 people - usually members of the church.

The Queen attending the Ceremony of the Royal Maundy in 2013.PA

In the UK, the Queen takes part in the Ceremony of the Royal Maundy where she gives coins called Maundy money to deserving senior citizens.

The word Maundy comes from the latin, 'mandatum', or 'command' which refers to the instructions Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper.

In many countries the day is known as Holy Thursday and is a public holiday.

It is a key day in the Christian calendar and marks the end of Lent, a time for reflection for Christians that follows Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day.

Maundy Thursday is part of Holy Week and is always the last Thursday before Easter.