I grew up in New Orleans, LA. and never knew what the meaning of Ash Wednesday was. So since I heard someone say that today was Ash Wednesday, I decided to research the concept.
I found out that Catholics place the ashes of palm trees from last year and place them on their forehead as a cross. This is symbolic of the fact that we are sinners and in need of a saviour. It also is a time of giving up something for 40 days leading up to Easter. This part I knew about which is called Lent.
I guess the problem that I had once I found out about Lent a few years ago is that the day before Ash Wednesday which is Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras Day is a day for catholic to wild out and do everything their hearts desire since they will be giving up these things for the next 40 days. This really bothered me. Once I found out this, I have not been to Mardi Gras.
I don't know if my mom or other families knew about this and just decided that they were going to participate in Mardi Gras since it was something they had been doing all their lives or not. But I chose not to keep up that tradition since in my eyes, it does not bring glory to God.
Let me know your thoughts on Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday and Lent.