Taken from Google
"Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return."
Today marks the beginning of the Lenten Season as its starts with Ash Wednesday. It is a time of penance, self-reflection and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday.
Ash Wednesday usually begin's 40 days prior to Easter Sunday (Sundays are not included in the count).
The ashes that are put on our foreheads are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.
But not all Christian churches observe Ash Wednesday or Lent. They are mostly observed by the Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Anglican denominations, and also by Roman Catholics. Eastern Orthodox churches observe Lent or Great Lent, during the 6 weeks or 40 days preceding Palm Sunday with fasting continuing during the Holy Week of Orthodox Easter. Lent for Eastern Orthodox churches begins on Monday (called Clean Monday) and Ash Wednesday is not observed.