Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a 40-day period of reflection and renewal in the Christian calendar. In 2016, the holy day falls on Feb. 10, and Christians around the world attend services at their local churches on this day.
In some denominations, priests will place ashes in the shape of a cross on the foreheads of their parishioners. The ashes are traditionally the burned remains of Palm Sunday leaves used in the previous year.
While distributing ashes, priests will often recite the Bible verse from Genesis 3:19, which God told Adam while sending mankind out of the Garden of Eden, "You are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The scripture and the ritual together present a powerful reminder to worshippers of their own mortality and the hope that comes with the Christian belief in the resurrection.
In honor of Ash Wednesday, HuffPost Religion has gathered photos of Christians around the world observing Ash Wednesday.
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