The first of the forty days of Lent, named for the custom of placing blessed ashes on the foreheads of worshipers at Ash Wednesday services. The ashes are a sign of penitence and a reminder of mortality, and may be imposed with the sign of the cross. Ash Wednesday is observed as a fast in the church year of the Episcopal Church.
Source: Ash Wednesday | Episcopal Church
Christians around the world will be participating in Ash Wednesday services today. It is a time of reflection and prayer as a preparation for Easter.