Oh Catlicks. I just realized it’s Ash Wednesday, when I was looking at my calendar to figger out if today was March 5th or March 6th. I have a good story about Ash Wednesday.
I grew up w/out religion (don’t cry for me, Argentina – I’m doing just fine) so I didn’t know what AW was/is or even anything about ANY religion. So I was in college and I was meeting with my advisor and he had a smudge on his forehead. I said “Um, you have something on your forehead.” And he ignored me. It was a big smudge and I thought maybe he didn’t hear me…but surely he’d want to know if he’s walking around with dirt on his face?? So I kept saying it and trying to get his attention by wiping my forehead etc.
You get the idea.
He finally said “It’s Ash Wednesday.” Which didn’t mean anything to me, but let me know that he knew the smudge was there and he was okay with it.
I was an embarrassed heathen.
So! I just wiki’d it and realize now it’s not just the Catlicks that do the AW! I didn’t know that! And I never heard of Shrove Tuesday! And wasn’t yesterday Fat Tuesday? Is there a link there? Is Mardi Gras related in timing to Lent? Oh there’s so much in this big ol’ world I do not know. Is Shrove Tuesday something where you flash your t*ts for beads? I feel vair confuse. And Lent. Is today the day you “give up something for Lent?” Forty six days of giving something up? (why not 47 – it would be so much better). Maybe I should give up my ignorance for Lent and try to learn something relig-y every day for the next 46 days. I think there’s comfort and thoughtfulness in a routine. You don’t have to be relig-y to get on board with that.
(Your friend: she’s a hillbilly.)
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in the Western Christian calendar, directly following Shrove Tuesday. Occurring 46 days before Easter, it is a moveable feast that can fall as early as February 4 and as late as March 10.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this 40-day liturgical period of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Of the 46 days until Easter, six are Sundays. As the Christian designation of Sabbath, Sundays are not included in the fasting period and are instead "feast" days during Lent.
Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes (formally called The Imposition of Ashes) on the foreheads of adherents as a celebration and reminder of human mortality, and as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered from the burning of the palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday.
Today, Ash Wednesday is observed by many Christian denominations, including Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Anglicans, and Presbyterians, among many others