Today is Ash Wednesday, and Christians all over the world can be seen with signs of the cross made on their faces with ashes. But how is this ash gotten? The ashes are not just gotten from burning of any material like wood, paper, etc.
What happens is that the dried leaves used in the Palm Sunday of the previous year are burnt, and it is the sacred ashes of these leaves that are now used.
Over the ages ashes have had special significance in many cultures. For instance, the Hindus dont bury their dead. They burn the body and preserve the ashes in special vessels called urns. Then in the sport of cricket, their is a special tournament called The Ashes.
What happened in this case is that after the first time the tournament was held, the organizers burnt the top prize and preserved the ashes. So today, various cricket playing countries today compete over the ashes of that first prize. Interesting, wouldn’t you say?