Ash Wednesday and a Dip in the City Fountain!

2013-02-12_13-00-20_823.jpg

Ash Wednesday is a day that many will spend at home with family and friends, or make their way to Ash Wednesday church services, or possibly sleep off the effects of Karnival festivities.  So, what exactly is Ash Wednesday?  It's a religious observance for penitence or repentance for one's past wrongdoings.   It is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter (40 fasting days and 6 Sundays which are not days of fast).  On Ash Wednesday, observers obstain from eating meat and also fast by having one large meal or two small meals for the day.  During the 40 days, Fridays are meatless. 

You may see folks about or kids coming home from school with the ash cross on their forehead.  This ash cross is what Ash Wednesday derives its name from.  It is the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year's Palm Sunday.  These ashes are placed on the forehead with the accompaniment of the words, "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."  The chapel on Ramstein will have a service as well as the Pfarrkirche in Ramstein-Miesenbach.  Aschermittwoch at 17:00 at Pfarrkirche St. Nikolaus, Landstuhler Str. 10, 66877 Ramstein-Miesenbach

520090966_89531576a1.jpg

Take your wallet for a swim in the city fountain?

If you are out by the city fountain, you may see a peculiar site.  There is a tradition for members of the 'Geldwaeschergilde' (money launderer guild), from the village of Wolfach in the Black Forest, who wash their wallets in the fountain to mourn the end of carnival season.  Many others in surrounding villages and cities of Southern Germany will wash and dry their wallets, which have been emptied during the days leading up to Ash Wednesday.  You can head over to the Kaiserbrunnen in Ktown and see if the waters will cleanse your wallet and hopefully ensure it's never again empty!