Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day have the somewhat unusual distinction of falling on the same day this year, and we can expect some changes to traffic patterns throughout the day.

No, there’s no big Ash Wednesday Parade to worry about, but people will be leaving work early and perhaps even coming back into the city to observe either or both days.

The key thing to note is that there will probably be fewer people working late on Wednesday, as they rush home to make it to Valentine’s Day dates or Ash Wednesday services.

So you may see more traffic or crowded trains earlier in the rush hour period. In addition, you may see different traffic patterns in the morning, as people head to Ash Wednesday Mass prior to going to the office. (Many churches have Masses as early as 7 a.m.)

In the evening, you may see more people coming back into the city for Valentine’s Day dates.

Hot spots for Valentine’s Day dates include:

-Georgetown and the nearby vicinity

-Embassy Row

-U Street Corridor

-Downtown (near Old Ebbitt Grill, The Hamilton and other restaurants.)

-Capitol Hill


-Silver Spring

-Columbia Pike, Arlington

Here’s also a look at the Catholic Churches in the area observing Ash Wednesday. Give yourself extra time near these locations in the District as people will be pulling in to receive ceremonial ashes. Most churches will have several morning Masses, at least one mass near lunchtime, and at least one in the early evening.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception - 400 Michigan Ave. NE.

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle - 1725 Rhode Island NW.

Church of Annunciation - 3810 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

Church of the Assumption - 3401 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE

Church of Incarnation - 880 Eastern Ave. NE

Church of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus - 6000 Georgia Ave. NW

Epiphany Church - 2712 Dumbarton Ave. NW

Holy Comforter Cyprian Church - 1357 E. Capitol Street SE

Holy Name Parish - 920 11th Street NE

Holy Redeemer Parish - 206 New York Ave. NW

Holy Rosary Parish - 595 3rd Street NW

Holy Trinity Parish -3513 N Street NW

Immaculate Conception Parish - 1315 8th Street NW

Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church -7164 Alaska Ave NW

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish - 1600 Morris Rd. SE