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Ash Wednesday is a popular Christian festival. The festival is known as Day of Ashes and is widely observed by Christians all over the world. On this day, Christians wear smudged ash on their foreheads. The festival is observed as the day of repentance and devotion. This year the festival falls on 17 February 2021.
Often people wonder why Christians wear smudged ashes on this day. If you have also wondered about the same, then we are here to tell you more about this day.
What Is Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday is an annual observance on which the priest applies ashes on the forehead of a person. The ash is applied in the form of holy cross. The ceremony is performed to show that the person belongs to Jesus Christ and is dedicated to the Almighty. The ceremony also symbolises that the person is regretful for his/her sins and is devoted to the Almighty.
The cross symbolises the fact that Jesus Christ had died while he was nailed and pinned on the cross.
Why Do People Apply Ash
People apply ashes to show that they regret committing sins intentionally or unintentionally. In Christianity, ashes represent death and repentance and applying the same on one's forehead shows that death is the ultimate reality and one needs to repent for his/her sins. While applying ashes on one's forehead, the priest says, "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
On Ash Wednesday, people are expected to quit meat and other non-vegetarian food items. People observe a fast on Ash Wednesday and offer prayers to the Almighty.