Ah yes the age-old question that gets asked every Ash Wednesday. You would think after years of seeing people walking around with black smudges on their heads people would know by now that it means it’s Ash Wednesday… but no. Every time this day comes around there is someone who will either stop you to tell you there is something on your head or they will look at you as if you are an alien from outer space. So in an effort to combat that (futile as it may be) I have decided to give you a quick lesson on Ash Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday is a holy day that marks the beginning of Lent for most Christian religions and part of the reason why you may have difficulty remembering this day is because it never comes on the same date each year. According to Wikipedia AW can come as early as February 4 and as late as March 10, and the reason for this is because when lent starts is dependent on the day Easter falls. If you are unfamiliar with Lent it is the 46 days leading up to Easter where most people opt to give something up or do an activity in observance. You most likely will hear one or two people mulling over this decision as AW approaches. As for the exact meaning of AW, well to be honest I’m not completely sure, so I’m leaving it up to good old Wikipedia:
“Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered after the palms or Palm Crosses from the previous year’s Palm Sunday are burned. After the ceremonial burning of the remains of the palms, the ash is mixed with a small amount of water to create a more adhesive substance.”
And that my friends is all I have (I said quick people!), but if you want to know more you can go here and if you want even more info….. have you heard of google lazy! Hope this helped those of you out there that have been confused and if you happen to see a person walking around with a smudge I sincerely hope this post will stop you before you tell them they have something on their face. It’s kinda rude after all…