Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, and is 46 days before Easter. It can occur anywhere from February 4th or as late as March 10th, and gets its name from the practice of placing ashes on one's forehead as a sign of mourning and repentance.
A lot of the people here in the office celebrate Lent every year - a period of 40 days of fasting and reflection before Easter. Most followers of Christianity observe Lent during the period beginning from Ash Wednesday until Holy Saturday. Sundays do not count as a day of fasting because they are each observed as a "mini-Easter."
Lent, which comes from the Germanic word for Spring time is often seen as a spiritual spring cleaning. This is why Lent begins with a symbol of repentance in the form of ashes and oil on one's forehead.
Have you seen anyone with ashes on their forehead today?