NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This year, for the first time in decades, Ash Wednesday falls on the same day as Valentine’s Day.
As CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported, taking part in both events could come with some challenges.
The last time Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday fell on the same day was in 1945 – 73 years ago. For many, Ash Wednesday marks the start of lent – a time to pray and give penance.
Valentine’s Day has its origins as a Christian feast day celebrating St. Valentine, but for centuries has been more of a time to give flowers and chocolate.
So what do you do if you’re taking part in both?
“A little sacrifice never hurt anyone,” said Lucy Ferrindino of Brooklyn. “I don’t eat that much chocolate anyway, so I’m good, and I’m having lobster that night.”
“The thought process on what you’re going to give up is going to be I guess a little more careful this time,” added Tony Occhipinti of Long Island.
But while some people said they are keeping Ash Wednesday even if it means giving up some of the food they love, others said they plan on bending some of the rules.
“St. Valentine was a saint, and I’m sure he would sign off on this,” said Diana Sperrazza of the East Village.
Some said both do have at least one thing in common – love.
“I thought this is great – love and our Savior’s love!” said Nina Sansifitto of Little Neck.
So if you’re still not sure how to take part in both, Timothy Cardinal Dolan had some advice.
“Why don’t we say a prayer for one another? Why don’t we do an act of charity for someone else? Why don’t we do an act of penance for one another as a sign of our love?” Dolan said.
He said one can do so even if it means giving up some of their favorite chocolate.
“Love doesn’t depend on chocolates. It doesn’t depend on greeting cards. It doesn’t depend on flowers. Those are all nice things,” Dolan said. “It really depends on looking out for the good of the other person and being able to sacrifice for them. We might as well make lemonade out of lemons.”
There is a second calendar coincidence this year too. Easter falls on April 1, which is also April Fool’s Day.