Sharing the world's unknown mystiques

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday (quarta-feita de cinzas) is the first day of Lent in the Western Christian (Catholic) calendar. The ashes that Catholic Christians receive on this day are a symbol of reflection on the duty of conversion, of changing one's life, of remembering the transient, fleeting, ephemeral fragility of human life, subject to death.

It occurs forty days before Easter (not including Sundays). Its position in the calendar varies each year, depending on the date of Easter. The date can vary from early February to the second week of March.

The Roman Catholic Church treats Ash Wednesday as a day of remembrance of mortality. Traditionally, Masses are held on this day, during which the participants are blessed with ashes by the priest presiding over the ceremony. The priest smears ashes on the forehead of each celebrant, leaving a mark that the Christian usually leaves on his or her forehead until sunset, when it is washed off. This symbolism recalls the ancient Middle Eastern tradition of casting ashes on the head as a symbol of repentance before God (as reported several times in the Bible). In Roman Catholicism, it is a day of fasting and abstinence.

Since it is the first day of Lent, it falls the day after Carnival. The Orthodox Church does not observe Ash Wednesday and begins Lent the Monday before, while in the Ambrosian rite of the Roman Catholic Church, Lent begins the following Sunday and Carnival lasts until Saturday, called Sabato Grasso ("Fat Saturday"), and Ash Wednesday is not celebrated.

Religion is intertwined with our culture in many ways; and we will break it down for you from a cultural, not religious, point of view along the holidays.

Oh, we will publish many horror stories that evolve our superstitions, of course.