What is Ash Wednesday and what is the meaning of the day? – The Sun

ASH Wednesday arrives after Pancake Day and marks the run up to Easter.

But what is the meaning behind Ash Wednesday and what other holy days are in the Christian tradition?

What is Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation.

It comes the day after Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake Day.

It marks the first day of Lent, which start in 2020 on February 17.

Ash Wednesday is an important day in the Christian calendar as it marks the first day of fasting, repentance, prayer and self-control that will be required during Lent.

Its official name is "Day of Ashes", due to the mostly Catholic practise of rubbing ashes in the sign of the cross on people's foreheads.

What are holy days of obligation?

There are six Holy Days of Obligation in 2021, although the number varies from year to year.

The number varies because the obligation is lifted if any of the days falls on either a Saturday or a Monday.

The six days are:

January 1: Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God

May 13: Ascension of Jesus

August 15: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

November 1: All Saints' Day

December 8: the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

December 25: Christmas

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