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Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Ash Wednesday Is on Valentine's Day, a Coincidence That Took Place 60 Years Ago

The observance of Ash Wednesday and celebration of Valentine’s Day on Feb.14 has generated mixed feeling among a section of Nigerians. 

Ash Wednesday is the ceremony to commence the Lenten period and entails fasting and abstinence from eating meat while Valentine’s Day is a day set aside to celebrate Love.

The two celebrations coinciding on Feb. 14, 2018, has generated discussions by people on the propriety to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the usual way or not. 

A cross section of residents in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, told newsmen on Tuesday that the two events coinciding on the same day was something special. 

A Catholic priest, Rev. Father, Eugene Irobmez, said Nigerian Churches should focus on Ash Wednesday, to mark the beginning of lent, the time of reflection and penitence.

According to Irobmez, the two events first coincided 60 years ago, when Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday were celebrated on the same day.

Irobemz said the tradition of the church was that the Ash Wednesday surpassed every other day, because it was a day of obligation. 

“It is a day of obligation when Christians are encouraged to fast and abstain from meat, a day of obligation supersede Valentine’s Day. 

“Valentine’s Day is not a feast of solemnity, but it is a memorial day; a day to be remembered. So, in this case, solemnity supersedes Memorial Day,’’ the priest said.

Irobemz explained that Ash Wednesday was the beginning of lent, an official day Christians fast, asked for forgiveness of sin and a day of soberness. 

He, however, noted that valentine could be celebrated any other day. “Since it is a day to show love, showing of love can be celebrated any other day like on Sunday because we do not usually fast on Sundays. 

“You cannot reconcile a sober period with a day of celebration; when a priest gives ashes to people, it signifies that you should remember that we are dust, unto dust we shall return. 

“The life we have now is temporal, there is a final destination for everyone which we have to prepare for, because the day is close,” Irobemz said. 

Although, some people are obedient and are set to forget Valentine for this year, a lot of people would pick valentine over going to church, while others have the plan to do the two.
Ash Wednesday in the morning and valentine in the evening.


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