The pagan frenzy of Mardi Gras gave way to hangovers and church services as devout Catholics began the season of Lent.

People attending Ash Wednesday services were daubed with ashes on their foreheads as a symbol of mortality to begin the penitential season that will continue until Easter.It was a solemn contrast with the drunken revelry of Mardi Gras, which ended abruptly at midnight Tuesday with police and street cleaning crews clearing Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, the final bastion of hard-core revelers who partied to the last minute.