• Every year, millions of Catholics all over the world including Nigeria, Africa mark a significant day.
  • This day is referred to as Ash Wednesday or the ‘Day of Ashes.’
  • Business Insider SSA has compiled a list of three important things to know about this day.

Today, February 26, 2020, marks a very important date in the Christian calendar as Catholics everywhere observe Ash Wednesday.

Here is what you need to know about this religious holiday:

What exactly is Ash Wednesday?

It marks the first day of Lent - a 40-day period of reflection and repentance of sin. During this period, many people give up something as they fast.

A lot of people give up meat and other beloved things like their favourite foods, television and even social media.

To commemorate the day, Catholics go for morning or evening Mass where a Priest marks their foreheads with blessed ashes that come from the burnt palms used on Palm Sunday.

Ash Wednesday falls on a different day every year.

Where did it come from?

Ash Wednesday started many years in Rome when sinners would wear sackcloths and sprinkle themselves with ashes as a form of public penance.

This continued until sometime in the 10th Century, where Christians started marking Lent with ashes shaped like a cross on their foreheads.

What's next after Ash Wednesday?

After Ash Wednesday, we have the Lenten period followed by Easter, when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.