When is Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday occurs 46 days before Easter. Since Easter moves around on the calendar, so does Ash Wednesday. The earliest the day can occur is February 4th and the latest is March 10th.
What do people do to celebrate?
Many Christians attend an Ash Wednesday service at their church. During this service the priest or minister may rub the sign of the cross on their foreheads using ashes. The ashes represent mourning and repentance. Sometimes the ashes are gathered from the burning of the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday.
Christians often fast on Ash Wednesday. They are allowed to have one full meal and two smaller meals, but many fast for the day on bread and water. They also do not eat meat on this day.
Fasting may continue throughout Lent and especially on Good Friday. In addition to fasting, Christians often give up something for Lent as an offer of sacrifice. This usually is something people enjoy like eating chocolate, playing video games, hot water for showers, or even sleeping in a bed.