Can you still celebrate Valentine's Day on Ash Wednesday?
The confluence of events hasn't occurred since the 1940s
Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday are falling on the same day this year for the first time in decades.
For many Christian lovers, the confluence of events could mean having to choose between observing and celebrating.
But Father John Comiskey of the Diocese of London said people can still indulge in chocolates and champagne while respectfully marking the start of Lent — just not on the same day.
"Valentine's Day can still be celebrated on Ash Wednesday so you might get a box of chocolates on Wednesday but you shouldn't eat them until the next day — even if you don't give up chocolate for Lent," he said, citing that the holiday marks a period of more than 40 days of fasting and abstaining from meat.
He said lovers can exchange gifts on Wednesday but any major Valentine's Day celebrations should be pushed to Thursday.
"Plan to go out on Thursday night if you want to go out for dinner."
He said the merge of events hasn't occurred since sometime in the 1940s.
"This is a rare event," said Father Comiskey of the simultaneous holidays being "a contrast of fast and abstinence with something joyful like Valentine's Day."
But, "not to worry," as both could still be celebrated with some preplanning.