Ash Wednesday 2023- Date, History, Celebration and more

The Ash Wednesday celebration will take place on 22  February 2023. Ash Wednesday is observed seven weeks before Easter and the day after Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday. This is a Christian observance that marks the beginning of Lent and the beginning of approximately six weeks of fasting and penance.

Ash Wednesday is a Christian holy holiday of fasting and prayer. It is preceded by Shrove Tuesday. Western Christians observe Ash Wednesday as a tradition. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. It falls 46 days before Easter Sunday.

Lent is a forty-day season, not counting Sundays, that’s marked by penitence and fasting, reflection, and finally festivity. This 40-day period is Christ’s temptation in nature. It was where he died and where Satan tempted him.

Lent is a season in which religionists are asked to make an analogous fast each time so that they can focus on Christ’s ministry, life, and renewal.

It is observed by Catholics of the Roman Ritual, Anglicans and Lutherans, Methodists and Moravians, Independent Catholics, and many from the Reformed faith (inclusive of the Congregationalist and Continental Reformed traditions, and United Protestants).

Many Christians mark Ash Wednesday as the first day in Lent by making a Lenten schedule, asking for a Lenten daily spiritual, and vowing to not eat Lenten food until Eastertide.

Ash Wednesday is named after the practice of placing penitence ashes upon the facades actors to say “Repent, believe in the Gospel” and/or “Remember that you are dust, and you will return.”

How to Celebrate Ash Wednesday:

On Ash Wednesday, many people began offering “ashes to be” as a way of giving back. Pastors and preachers will often be found in public areas such as parking lots and road corners. They are there to offer blessed ashes to anyone who asks.

To administer ashes, you don’t need to be a pastor. Many churches offer the opportunity for parishioners to bring home ashes packets to use at the funerals of those who were unable to attend.

As the ashes are not a sacrament it is not necessary to enter them. Therefore, the rules that govern their entry are less strict than those for commodities such as holy fellowship in the Catholic Church.

History and the Beginning of Ash Wednesday:

Parishioners are reminded that they are dust and will return to dust when they receive ashes on the foreheads. This is a reference to what God said to Adam when he exiled him from the Garden of Eden. (In the Christian Bible Adam is literally made from dust).

The Ash Wednesday saying reminds us to be humble when we face our mortality.

The 11th century CE was when the first Ash Wednesday celebrations took place. Although it’s not mentioned in the Bible in any way, there is a verse in Daniel that links fasting with ashes. Some scholars believe this to be the origin of Lenten practices.

Ash Wednesday was not mainstream fashionable with Christians in the U.S. Until the 1970s.