By tradition, churches celebrate this day by having the children parade up the aisles of the church carrying palm branches, symbolizing the palms that the people laid before the donkey that Jesus rode into Jerusalem, on that day that began His last week on earth.
Also, by tradition, churches dry those branches, and burn them to ashes and save them all year, so that on "Ash Wednesday" the pastor/priest/man of the cloth can use them to trace the sign of the cross on the foreheads or hands of worshippers.
I've never done that - worn the sign of the cross, in ashes, on my forehead for the world to see. It's not that I'm shy about wearing a cross, either around my neck, or on my shoulder as a tattoo.
I don't know why.
The churches I've attended have been far out of the way from where I've worked, so it would have seemed easy to write off getting there before my early work time. Too inconvenient.
For a time, resisting "tradition" or the church calendar in such things felt too "traditional" or even "Catholic" so shying away for that reason could have been justified.
But at the end, I could have stopped at a church nearby work. I could have embraced history.
I think that the idea of the question...all...day...long..."why did you do that?" and "what is that for?" or "what does that mean?" felt too risky.
I love the Church calendar now. God created seasons, and changes, and the yearly rhythm. The church calendar embraces that rhythm and reminds us of the changing seasons. Each Holy Day reminds us of our redemptive history.
Anyway...this should have been written on Ash Wednesday...and this post should have been about Palm Sunday.
But that's not what went through my brain. Regret at not having the courage to wear ashes on the first day of Lent...