Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.
When: 46 days before Easter. February 13th 2013, 5th March 2014.
Where: All over the Christian World
Ash Wednesday, is the first day of Lent when Christians traditionally prepare to celebrate the Easter period through 40 days of prayer, penitence, charity and self-denial. Many people give up something that they love, like meat, coffee or chocolate. It does not have to be food related, some give up watching television, smoking, alcohol etc
The day takes its name from the practice of smudging an ash cross on the forehead of the faithful as a sign of repentance. The ashes are kept after the Palm Crosses from the previous year’s Palm Sunday have been burned. According to the Bible, ashes were used in ancient times, to express mourning. Dusting oneself with ashes was a way of expressing regret for sins and faults.
The day before Ash Wednesday is Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday / Shrove Tuesday) where one last final party is held in preparation for the lean time of Lent.
Food & Drink
The hot cross bun is a bit of an English culinary icon for Lent. Made from buttery dough with currants in and seasoned with allspice and cinnamon, hot cross buns get their name from the mark of the cross that’s placed on them before they’re baked. They are traditionally meant to be eaten on Good Friday to break the fast but are often now eaten all through Lent. Simnel cake is another favourite for this time of year, traditionally eaten on the fourth Sunday of Lent (Mothering Sunday also known as Refreshment Sunday). Try our recipe for Simnel cake.
Ash Wednesday occurs 46 days (40 days not counting Sundays) before Easter and therefore falls on a different date each year. It can occur as early as February 4th or as late as March 10th.