What you should know about Ash Wednesday

What you should know about Ash Wednesday


By Christian George

Today, many will be seen on the road with an ash marked on their forehead, it is to reminder that it is Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday, to Christians, is officially a day of repentance, confession of sin as well as profession their devotion to God.

While it derived its name from early traditions in the Christian Church in Rome, when penitents and sinners would partake in a period of public penance, it falls on a different day each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter.

It marks the first day of Lent and falls six and a half weeks before Easter.

On this day, ashes are placed in the shape of a cross on observers’ foreheads.

What make up the ashes include burning palms used on Palm Sunday which will be blessed before being used.

According to a publication by Guardian, the ashes symbolise both death and repentance. During this period, Christians show repentance and mourning for their sins, because they believe Christ died for them.

However, Catholics are meant not to eat meat on Ash Wednesday. They also are expected to give up meat on Fridays during Lent as well.

Moreover, Catholic faithfuls are expected to fast on Ash Wednesday in line with their doctrine. One may, however, choose one full meal or two small meals for the day. While children and elderly are exempted from the fast on Ash Wednesday or during Lent.

While it is not mandatory for its believers to wear the ash all day, it is not a crime either for Christians who choose to do so.