Good Question: Why Are Ashes Used On Ash Wednesday? In two days, millions of Christians around the world will observe Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. It falls 46 days before Easter, including Sundays. Christians will observe Lent by fasting or abstaining from a type of food they like. It's a way of repenting their sins, and as a way to recognize how Jesus fasted in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights.