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Ash Wednesday 2020: Know The History And Significance Of This Day

Ash Wednesday 2020 is considered to be one of the holy days for Christians. The day marks the beginning of Lent which itself is a religious observance. It is generally a 40-days period of fasting and penitence. This Lent period is observed till Easter, the day that marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This year Ash Wednesday is being celebrated on 26 February 2020 among the Christians. People On this day, Christians visit Churches and make holy cross sign on their forehead using ashes.

So now let us go through the history and significance of this day.


Ash Wednesday is also known as the 'Day of Ashes'. The name 'Day of Ashes' has been derived from 'Dies Cinerum' mentioned in Roman Missal, a liturgical book Roman Catholic Church. The concept of the Day of Ashes was derived during the 6th century.

It is believed that the practice originated in Rome to let the sinners begin their repentance of their acts. It is then common people too adopted this concept of repenting for their sins and mistakes by applying repentance ashes on their forehead.


1. Reason why people apply ashes on their foreheads is the fact that ash represents dust, death and repentance.

2. On this day, the priests and pastor applies ashes in a cross pattern on the forehead of those people who visit Catholic Church.

3. Those who practice Christianity, believe that applying ashes on their forehead on Wednesday can purify their soul and heart.

4. While applying ashes on the foreheads of people, the priest or the pastor says, 'Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.'

5. By applying ashes, one means that he/she is sorry for his/her wrong deeds and repent the during Lent.

6. The reason why people observe lent for 40 days is because of a biblical narrative that says, Jesus Christ observed fasting for 40 days and spent those days and night in desert.

    Story first published: Wednesday, February 26, 2020, 16:00 [IST]
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