Miercoles de Ceniza -- Ash Wednesday
This is Ash Wednesday (Miercoles de Ceniza). It marks the beginning of Lent (Cuaresma). In Colombia, a primarily Catholic country, it is not uncommon to see thousands of people sporting a cross made of ash on their foreheads. It is placed there during a special service at the local Parrish.
This was something I had never seen before. Granted, I had known very few Catholics in my lifetime -- only my next door neighbors growing up -- however, they had never worn these outward manifestations of inward commitment. For me, during my first visit to Colombia, this was a unique cultural experience. I have since seen this in the US, but I will always associate it with Colombia if for no other reason than the number of people I saw wearing the mark of CENIZA. It was amazing.
Photo Credit -- Flickr Creative Commons:
Rudy A. Giron