Why do we celebrate Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. The ashes are a sign of penitence and a reminder of mortality, and may be imposed with the sign of the cross. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.