Online poll: Ash Wednesday a rest day for some, work as usual for others

The Ash Wednesday public holiday means just another day off or another workday for many people, but it means other things to significant segments of participants in last week’s online poll.  

Of the 460 total participants to the one-week poll, the largest segment of respondents – 157 people or 34.1 percent – said the Ash Wednesday public holiday meant just another day off from work. 

“I say just another day off, but it’s also a productive workday in the office with no telephones ringing and no one else around to bother me,” said one person. 

For another 52 people – 11.3 percent – Ash Wednesday means just another day at work. 

“I’m in hospitality and tourism and we are in high season in our industry,” said one respondent. “Public holidays are just another working day.” 

“Out of the 23 years at my job, I’ve been off two times on Ash Wednesday,” said someone else. 

Another large segment of respondents – 131 people or 28.5 percent – said Ash Wednesday means the first day of Lent, a roughly six-week religious observance when people in several Christian denominations do not eat certain foods or partake in certain pleasurable activities as a way of remembering the suffering of Jesus Christ. 

“I am a practising Christian,” said one person. 

“The only reason all of the other choices exist is because Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent,” noted another person. 

Grand Cayman’s annual Agriculture Show is what Ash Wednesday means most to 99 respondents – 21.5 percent. 

“My kids love it,” said one person. “Moooooooooo,” said another. 

Some respondents – 13 people or 2.8 percent – said Ash Wednesday meant most to them took the opportunity to make a trip off island. For those working a standard Monday through Friday work week, the mid-week public holiday is a way of getting five consecutive days off while only having to take two days off from work. 

Another eight people – 1.8 percent – responded “other” to the question. 

“It’s a good break from work,” said one person. 

“While it does have some religious tone and place, it is a time to chill with the family and spend it meaningfully with them at home or at church,” said someone else.  

“It’s a good opportunity to party,” added one respondent. “Mardi Gras!” 

Next week’s poll question 

What is your attitude toward a mandatory cancer registry? 

  1. Unconditional support 
  2. Conditional support, with guaranteed confidentiality 
  3. Negative, because a person’s health is a private matter 
  4. Negative, because I don’t trust the recipients of the information. 
  5. I don’t care either way 
  6. I don’t know enough about it 

To participate in this poll, visit starting Feb. 23.