For believers — like these at Salt Lake City’s majestic Cathedral of the Madeleine, the only Catholic cathedral in the nation named for Mary Magdalene — Ash Wednesday marks, quite literally, the start of Christianity’s holiest season.

It falls on the seventh Wednesday before Easter and kicks off Lent.

Followers — including Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Episcopalians and Lutherans — put ashes on their foreheads as an outward symbol of their penitence.

This year, Western Christians will celebrate Easter on April 12. Eastern Orthodox devotees will do so a week later, on April 19.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Students from The Madeleine Choir School receive their ashen signs of the cross during noon Mass on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.