Ash Wednesday marks the end of most Carnival celebrations around the world. On Ash Wednesday, or the first day of Lent, Anglican, Catholic and Lutheran Christians place ashes on their foreheads as a reminder of human mortality. In many countries, such as Mexico, Chile, the Philippines, Italy and the United States, millions of observers flock to local churches to receive ashes from their priests. Despite its huge Catholic population, the vast majority of Brazilians do not formally observe Ash Wednesday, as many Carnival celebrations continue through Ash Wednesday and only cease at the end of the week.
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