I think that now and then. Most recently it occurred during a conversation between Z, S, and R. Me. I was just observing and probably making funny alien faces.
As you might guess around here there are a lot of conversations about the terrible fires that are burning in Victoria. It is very sad and this surreal exchange/blog post is not meant to reflect upon those fires or any fires in any way. It is, however, where the story begins.
Z (not my Z) was in and telling us how her uncle, a firefighter, is in Victoria as a volunteer and how hard that is on him psychologically. This conversation continues as you'd expect reflecting sympathy and sorrow and outrage. Then, Z left.
S then brings up "Ash Wednesday" and "how many were lost then?" and "when I was in school we used to get ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday". And, R is continuing the conversation about fires and "Ash Wednesday". And, I am trying to figure out whether my head will explode.
"Um." I begin. "Um. The ashes on your forehead on Ash Wednesday doesn't have anything to do with fires. Um. Ash Wednesday is a Catholic holiday...it is the first day of lent."
And, much to my surprise - NOBODY knew that.
I guess it shouldn't have surprised me given the way this country plays fast and loose with Mardi Gras. ([French : mardi, Tuesday + gras, fat (from the feasting on Mardi Gras before Lenten fasting).]
(Of course, in all fairness I didn't know what the fire(s) they remember as Ash Wednesday was/were either. I am the alien here.)
By the way, Ash Wednesday is Feb 25th this year. (It moves each year to be 40 days before Easter.) The Australian fire anniversary, I assume, is always on the same day each year: 16 Feb.