Ash Wednesday is a public holiday as well as a church holiday in the Cayman Islands. It occurs 40 days before Easter Sunday and is the first day of the Lenten fast.
|2021||17 Feb||Wed||Ash Wednesday|
|2022||2 Mar||Wed||Ash Wednesday|
|2023||22 Feb||Wed||Ash Wednesday|
|2024||14 Feb||Wed||Ash Wednesday|
The Ash Wednesday tradition is at least 1,400 years old, if not older. The day gets its name from the ancient tradition of using ashes to draw a cross on the forehead of people attending mass that day as a sign of mortality and sorrow for sin.
The mood changes radically when Ash Wednesday arrives since it immediately follows Carnival season. Some give up not only meats and food items but also various activities or personal pleasures during this fast. But that doesn’t mean it’s a time of mourning either, even if the devout use it as a time for reflection and prayer.
One of the biggest events on Ash Wednesday in Cayman Islands is The Agricultural Show in Lower Valley, which is often referred to simply as “The Ag Show”. Around 10,000 people attend each year. There are stalls full of the produce of the islands, hot-serve food stalls, artists displaying their work, and entertainment and competitions as well.