Ash Wednesday

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English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English Aschewednysday, Axwednesdai, &c., from asshe, axe (ash), &c. + Wednesdai, Wednysday (Wednesday), &c., from the custom of using the blessed ashes of the previous year's palm fronds (cf. Palm Sunday) to mark the heads of the congregation on the day.

Noun[edit]

Ash Wednesday (plural Ash Wednesdays)

  1. (Christianity) The Wednesday 46 days before Easter in a given year, (Catholicism) traditionally observed as the beginning of Lent and a day of strict abstention from certain foods and pleasures.
    • 1834, Penny Cyclopaedia, Vol. II, p. 454:
      Pope Gregory the Great introduced the sprinkling of ashes... which gave it the name of Ash-Wednesday.

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