Ash Wednesday - Christian religious holiday. Grunge cross on gray abstract ash background.

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Origin of carnival in the middle ages: a christian evening in a church

Before fasting for 40 days, the believers could celebrate, feast and drink with relish - in churches. There were very practical reasons for this: Food such as meat, fat and eggs had to be eaten before fasting, otherwise they would spoil during the fasting period. On the other hand, the church was pursuing a didactic goal with this boisterous activity: Augustine had already distinguished between the "civitas diaboli" (the kingdom of the devil) and the "civitas dei" (the kingdom of God). So during Shrovetide people should indulge in the "civitas diaboli" in order to turn around on Ash Wednesday and join the "civitas dei". Illustration from 19th century.


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