Carnival/Ash Wednesday in United Kingdom, for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Carnival/Ash Wednesday is a date in church calendars that shifts from year to year. Traditionally seen as a holy day of fasting prior to the beginning of the Holy Easter holidays, the date can be seen as the first day of the Lent period. The Carnival/Ash Wednesday derives its memorable name from the practise of blessing Ash trees using the ashes of the branches of Palm trees. Related to the holiday of Palm Sunday, the beginning of the Lent period is celebrated by Christians of many different denominations, including Catholics, Anglicans and Methodists.
The Origins of Ash Wednesday and Lent period
The traditional beginnings of Carnival/Ash Wednesday are rooted in the formation of the entire Holy Easter and Lent period. Taking its source from the gospel story recording Jesus's fasting for forty days and nights in the desert when tested by Satan, the beginning of the Holy Easter holiday and Lent period can be seen as deriving directly from Carnival/Ash Wednesday. In order to commemorate Jesus's fasting, Christians originally took it upon themselves to fast during six weeks from Monday to Saturday - Sunday not being deemed a suitable day for fasting - making up the entire Lent period of forty days.
A Celebration of Holy Easter and Carnival/Ash Wednesday
Carnival/Ash Wednesday marks the start of the run up to Holy Easter. Today it can be seen to be something of a celebration of traditional Holy Easter values and observation. The day itself generally includes a holy mass and a reminder of exactly why it is important and valuable. Immediately following the period of Carnival with its joyous celebrations and delights in food and merriment, the Lent period preceded by Carnival/Ash Wednesday is an important date to Christians around the world in the run up to Holy Easter.