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Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year’s Palm Sunday, and placing them on the heads of participants to the accompaniment of the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”. Something that is difficult to accept in our hedonistic society where pleasure is emphasize over everything else.

So Lent started today and will last until Easter Sunday. I do not know who observes Lent nowadays or if anyone, maybe a few remember it.

As children many years ago this Christian tradition was very much alive and was accompanied by many moral teachings on life.

Lent of course is a period of fasting, sort of a Christian ramadan so to speak, it use to be fairly strict with many things you could not eat, certainly no sweets and no meat. Stores did not advertise Easter candies before the last week of Lent and even then it was a more discreet advertising campaign so as not to offend people. Today in our secular society its a no holds bar type of thing and God forbid the little precious ones should be deprived of their sweets and everything else. I think something is lost here in a way, balance, reflection, abstinence in a society of plenty. Certainly life is poorer because of the commercialisation of everything around us.


The end of Carnaval by Carl Spitzberg, Aschermittwoch, Ash Wednesday.