When is pancake day? When does Lent begin and why we celebrate it
Lent is one of the most important dates in the Christian calendar.
It is a period of fasting that begins 40 days before Easter Sunday and lasts just over six weeks. It is a moment of introspection when Christians decide to live on the basis of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Here’s everything you need to know about Lent, including key dates on your calendar, like Mardi Gras and Easter.
What is Lent?
Lent symbolizes the days leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.
Lent means “season of spring” and is considered an abbreviated version of the Old English term lencten.
Lent was traditionally a time when people fasted and pledged to abstain from foods such as fish, meat, eggs, and fat.
Nowadays, people can observe the fast by giving up a luxury or favorite food like chocolate, alcohol or even social media.
When does Lent start this year?
Just like Easter, Lent falls on different dates each year. This year, Lent begins on Wednesday March 2 (Ash Wednesday) and ends on Thursday April 14.
The 40-day period of Lent does not include Sundays because each is considered a “mini Easter” celebrating Christ’s victory over sin and death.
The majority of churches observe Ash Wednesday as the first day of Lent. On this day, Christians seek forgiveness by visiting the church. Some priests dip their fingers in ashes and mark a cross on the devotee’s forehead. This is meant to be a symbol of penance or remorse.
When is pancake day?
Mardi Gras, otherwise known as Pancake Day, falls on Tuesday, March 1.
Pancakes were made on the eve of Lent as a traditional way to use up rich foods like milk, sugar, and eggs before the start of the 40-day fasting season.
When is Easter this year?
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ took place on Good Friday and he was resurrected on Easter Sunday. Easter falls on different dates each year as it depends on the spring equinox and the cycle of the moon.
This year, Good Friday falls on April 15, Easter Sunday falls on April 17, and Easter Monday falls on April 18.
While some observe the Solemnity of Easter, some celebrate the end of the fast by eating and offering chocolate or holding Easter egg rolling contests. The rolling of Easter eggs symbolizes the scene where Jesus was detained, when the stone was rolled away to reveal Jesus’ tomb.
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