Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of repentance, fasting, and reflection for Christians leading up to Easter. The origins of Ash Wednesday can be traced back to the early Christian Church, where it became customary to mark the foreheads of penitents with ashes as a sign of mourning and repentance. This practice draws from biblical traditions of using ashes as a symbol of humility and sorrow for sin. The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are typically made from the palm branches blessed on the previous year’s Palm Sunday, representing the cycle of death and rebirth. Today, Ash Wednesday remains a significant observance in many Christian denominations, symbolizing mortality, humility, and the call to turn away from sin and return to God.