Ash Wednesday (Christian)
The first day of the Lent. Christians begin their 40 day*Â period of fasting and penitence leading up to Easter Sunday.
Followers attendÂ mass todayÂ and receive a mark of ashes in the sign of the cross on their foreheads signifying the belief that “from dust you came, to dust youÂ shall return.” A version of such isÂ stated by the priest when the ashes are administered to each follower.
The ashes used are fromÂ palm leaves left over from the previous years Palm Sunday observances.
*While the Lenten period is actually 46 days, Sundays are not considered part of the period of penance.