Ash Wednesday, Miércoles de Ceniza – February 18, 2015
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, which ends before Easter Sunday. Priests mark churchgoers’ foreheads with ashes in form of a cross to symbolize the forgiveness of sins and to reaffirm one’s faith in God. Prior to the day, streets in cities and towns are bustling with parades, floats, costumes and music to celebrate Carnival. This festival marks the last days to enjoy the things that are abstained or given up on Ash Wednesday. it is a moveable fast that can fall as early as February 4 and as late as March 10.
Why we receive the ashes
Following the example of the Ninevites, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told “Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.” Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.