Well, kids, it’s that time of year again. Time for you to give up something you enjoy for over a month. The Lenten season is upon us, which means today is the day of dirty foreheads.
Today is Ash Wednesday.
I realize that many people do not understand Ash Wednesday, so I have brought upon myself to educate you heathens.
Ash Wednesday is a day 46 days before Easter. It marks the beginning of Lent, a period of time leading up to Easter. Contrary to popular belief, this period of time is not known as the “Peeps Marshmallow Chick Month,” although that is an added significance.
(Side note: Have you ever put a Peep in the microwave. It just gets bigger and bigger until, all of a sudden, you have Peepzilla, a gigantic marshmallow chicken. If I was a research scientist, I would develop a microwave big enough to create a Peep the size of the Empire State Building. Talk about Nobel Prize worthy!)
Ash Wednesday’s real significance is as a time of repentance before Lent. This is necessary, as it falls after Fat Tuesday every year, meaning if Ash Wednesday didn’t exist, one third of the church going population would be immediately struck by a bolt of lightning from above.
Since it is the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday is the day that people begin fasting. People can fast from anything they want as long as they don’t fast from fasting. That seems to be off limits.
Many people use this as a chance to kick a bad habit. I, for instance, will be fasting from soda which will probably kill me someday, although it is sweet and delicious so I don’t mind.
The real reason to fast, though, is to be reminded of the sacrifice that Jesus went through. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, he was the main character in “The Passion of the Christ.” Also, you may want to pick up a book sometime.
Of course, many people take advantage of this period of time to show how devoted they are. These people will frequently make a big deal about what their giving up and are unbearable to be around. Don’t worry, though. In 46 days they can eat meat again and they will stop the martyrdom for at least year. Until then, feel free to fast from being around them.
As I am not Catholic, there are a lot of details that are fuzzy to me. There is fish eating on Fridays. I’m not sure how this ties in, but I’m guessing they are not fasting from fish.
(Side note: Why are fish not considered meat? They are animals and we are eating their flesh. It’s always seemed a little fishy to me. Pun intended.)
That is Ash Wednesday in a nutshell. If you want to know more, check it out on Wikipedia or visit with a priest. They will know more about it then me.
And if they try to rub some gunk on your forehead, don’t be alarmed. It’s just their job.