Aschermittwoch is the German name for Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Although it is not a public holiday, most companies will allow their employees time off during the day to go to church, if they wish to.
At church, people are blessed with a cross on the forehead made from the ashes of last year’s palm leaves.
This is also the day on which the policital parties hold their regional meetings. The use them to plan for the coming political year, and also to critise the policies of their opponents.
To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:
(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)