You came from dust and into dust you shall return.
Ash Wednesday is the day Lent begins. It occurs forty days before Good Friday. The official name of Ash Wednesday is “Day of Ashes.” The reason the day became known as Ash Wednesday is that it is forty-six days before Easter Sunday, so it will always fall on a Wednesday. The Bible does not mention Ash Wednesday, or Lent either, for that matter.
The period of Lent is intended to be a time where sinful activities and habits are forsaken. Ash Wednesday is the commencement of this period of repentance. The Bible contains numerous accounts of people using dust and ashes as symbols of repentance and/or mourning (Genesis 18:27; 2 Samuel 13:19; Esther 4:1; Job 2:8; Daniel 9:3; Matthew 11:21). The tradition is that the symbol of the cross is made in ashes on a person’s forehead as a symbol of that person’s identification with Jesus Christ. A similar concept is mentioned in Revelation 7:3; 9:4; 14:1 and 22:4.