The countdown to Easter has started, here in Spain.
Last night, Ash Wednesday was celebrated in Catholic churches up and down the island of Mallorca. At the end of the church service, ash was strewn over the heads of the churchgoers, at least where I live, here in Felanitx.
Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Quaresma (Castellano: Cuaresma), the 40-day period of Lent leading up to Easter, a tradition of fasting that used to be adhered to quite strictly in Spain but, perhaps not quite so much in this day and age. Ash Wednesday is also the day when the Crist de la Sang is ritually being put on display and from now until Dijous Sant (Maundy Thursday), when the Christ statue (see photo) will be carried through the town or pueblo as part of the week-long Easter processions.
The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: March 9th, 2011. The time was 20:53:44.