Chocolates or Ashes: Balancing Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day
Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine's Day this year.
Wednesday might pose a dilemma for some who want to observe both holidays.
The last time the two holidays fell on the same day was in 1945.
"It's a bit of a challenge." says Father Mike Quinn at Holy Family Church in Hannibal.
But he says it's okay for Christians to observe both Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day on the same day this year.
Fasting is a ritual observed on Ash Wednesday.
That's the day Christians are allowed one main meal and two snacks.
"To do their major meal at night with their special person, their husband or their wife or their family. They might even go out with foreheads that look dirty with ashes on them but some people don't like to wear it out so they might take it off," explains Father Quinn.
Sales usually soar on Valentine's Day at Mary Glenn Bowman's business, Chocolaterie Stam in Hannibal.
"We're taking more and more orders for Wednesday so it's going to be a toss up. I know we were a little concerned about it at first but I don't think it's going to be a problem," says Bowman.
She's noticed people celebrating Valentine's Day earlier and later than usual.
"Lent is very important . I'm hoping people will make a balance out of it and those chocolates will still be here Thursday," Bowman adds.
A balance that The Mark Twain Brewery is doing its best to respect.
"We are offering an all you can eat catfish buffet for $10.99. We chose catfish because it is Ash Wednesday this year. We want to honor that," says Brewery Manager Chantele.
For more details on the Mark Twain Brewery Valentine's Day even visit their Facebook page here.
And Father Quinn says Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day coincide in more ways than one.
"Valentine's Day really is a good way to start it off. Lent is about prayer, lent is about fasting, and fasting from negativity and trying to feast on being positive like showing love which is what Valentine's Day," says Father Quinn.
The next time these two holidays fall on the same day will happen in 2024 and 2029.