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The Beginning of Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday, a Christian holy day of prayer, fasting, and repentance, preceded by Shrove Tuesday, which marks the first day of Lent or the period of the six weeks of penitence before Easter.

Ash Wednesday is observed by many Christians, and in Dubrovnik, it has special meaning too. This day derives its name from the placing of repentance ashes on the foreheads of participants to either the words ‘Repent, and believe in the Gospel’ or the dictum ‘Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’ The ashes may be prepared by burning palm leaves from the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebrations.

The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, doing penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, and self-denial. This event is observed in the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, and Catholic Churches. Find more about this important period of the year here.