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Origin Of Holidays

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday takes place on a Wednesday which is the first day of the Lent (Lenten fast.) It is to set the tone of the season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares the Christian for Easter Sunday and the symbolic redemption. This day of ashes is believed to been started around the eighth century. On this day all faithful Christians (Catholics mostly) are supposed to approach the altar before Mass begins and the priest will dip his thumb into blessed ashes on the forehead in the sign of the cross while saying, "Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return."

The ashes used are made by burning the remnants of the palms blessed on the Palm Sunday of the last year and are blessed and sprinkled with holy water and then fumigated with incense.

This custom before the holy period of observance is to reflect what holy men have done in the Bible when repenting of their sins, cover themselves with ashes and clothe their bodies with sackcloth.