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Ash Wednesday in Canada

Quick Facts

Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent in for many Christians in Canada.

Local names

NameLanguage
Ash WednesdayEnglish
Mercredi des CendresFrench
AschermittwochGerman

Ash Wednesday 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday 2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
List of dates for other years

Many Christians in Canada mark Ash Wednesday as the first day of Lent. It is the beginning of the Lenten fast and is the day after Shrove Tuesday.

Ash is often used to mark people's foreheads on Ash Wednesday.

©iStockphoto.com/Ben Beltman

What do people do?

Many churches in Canada hold special Ash Wednesday services for their congregations. It is a time when people who seek penitence for their wrongdoings are marked with the sign of the cross, from blessed ashes, on their forehead. This symbolic occasion reminds people of their mortality and sorrow for sins, as well as the will for change and the hope of forgiveness.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lenten discipline for many Christian churches. It is traditionally a time of fasting and prayer as part or preparations for Easter when they are ready to receive or reaffirm their baptism. For some Christians, Lent is a time to think about life and death, as well as reflect on life’s choices and possible life directions.

Ash Wednesday serves as a wakeup call for some Christians. It is also a time of goodwill for many people. There are also those who chose this time of the year to donate to charities or take part in charity events as a way to get close to God.

Public life

Ash Wednesday is not a national public holiday in Canada.

Background and Symbols

The practice of marking foreheads with ashes was common among Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and some other churches in Canada but it is now practiced in various other Christian denominations. A general article about Ash Wednesday worldwide covers more information about its background and symbols.

About Ash Wednesday in other countries

Read more about Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
WedFeb 281990Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 131991Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedMar 41992Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 241993Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 161994Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedMar 11995Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 211996Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 121997Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 251998Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 171999Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedMar 82000Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 282001Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 132002Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedMar 52003Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 252004Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 92005Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedMar 12006Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 212007Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 62008Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 252009Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 172010Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedMar 92011Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 222012Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 132013Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedMar 52014Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 182015Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 102016Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedMar 12017Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 142018Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedMar 62019Ash WednesdayChristian 
WedFeb 262020Ash WednesdayChristian 

Related holiday

Other holidays in March 2014 in Canada

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