Ash Wednesday

Roman Catholics queue up to have crosses etched to their foreheads with ash by nuns and laymen in Manila, as the country marks Ash Wednesday, the official beginning of the Christian Lenten season on February 17, 2010. The ash symbolizes the mortality of human beings, of bodies disintegrating to ash after one dies. The Philippines is Asia's bastion of Catholicism, with over 80 percent of the almost 94 million population belonging to the faith.  AFP PHOTO

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