Observing Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent

Fasting and reflection – that’s what Ash Wednesday signifies for Catholics. Ash Wednesday is the day after Mardi Gras, marking the end of the Carnival season and the beginning of the season of Lent.

Lent is a season of fasting, penance, and prayer for many Christians, mirroring the forty days Jesus is said to have fasted in the desert.  Christians receive cross markings on their foreheads in ash, usually from palm leaves from the previous year’s Palm Sunday.

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