The that means behind Lent, how lengthy it lasts and key dates to recollect
Thousands and thousands of individuals around the globe will start observing Lent on Wednesday.
For a lot of non-believers it usually related to giving up chocolate or alcohol after an evening of consuming pancakes, however to Christians it’s thought to be a interval of non secular preparation to develop nearer to God within the run-up to Easter
Not all Christian denominations observe Lent in precisely the identical method, and sure days are excluded from the interval.
Right here is the whole lot you want to learn about Lent, from its that means by to the traditions that worshippers comply with right this moment.
When does Lent start?
In 2021 it begins on February 17, and ends on Thursday April 1.
The date varies annually, beginning in both late February or early March.
The rationale Lent and the Easter feast days are moveable – in that they do not fall on the identical date yearly within the Gregorian or Julian calendars, not like Christmas – is that they comply with the cycle of the solar.
As an alternative, the date for Easter is set by the lunar calendar which in flip relies on the phases of the moon.
Easter falls on the primary Sunday after the primary full moon after March 20’s Spring Equinox, which is the second the solar crosses from south to north over the imaginary line within the sky above Earth’s equator.
Meaning Easter will at all times fall between March 22 and April 25 in Western Christianity.
Lent is handled by Christians as a interval of reflection and for fasting from meals and festivities within the 40 days main as much as Easter.
It remembers when Jesus fasted within the wilderness for 40 days regardless of being tempted.
When does Lent end?
There is not any one, single reply to this.
For Western church buildings the 40-day interval ends on Holy Saturday, the day earlier than Easter Sunday. Nevertheless, the liturgical season of Lent ends two days earlier on Holy Thursday.
Technically Lent truly lasts 46 days, however Sundays usually are not included.
The six Sundays are counted as a “mini-Easter” that celebrates Jesus’ victory over sin and loss of life.
What do folks quit for Lent?
Most believers have a tendency to surrender one thing for Lent because it “purifies” their our bodies.
For kids that might imply not consuming chocolate or sweets, or giving up tv or a favorite toy. Adults have a tendency to surrender issues similar to alcohol, espresso or smoking, however some households may quit meat, eggs and dairy merchandise.
Others could donate cash to a superb trigger or volunteer at a charity.
What’s Shrove Tuesday? When is it in 2021?
This yr Shrove Tuesday – identified by tens of millions of individuals as Pancake Day – takes place on February 16.
The official identify originates from the phrase “shrive”, which implies absolution for sins by doing penance. Christians historically tried to be ‘shriven’ earlier than Lent by going to Confession the place they’d admit their sins and ask for absolution from a priest.
A bell can be rung to name them to Confession. This was known as the ‘pancake bell’ and continues to be rung right this moment.
Pancakes grew to become related to the day as worshippers used up wealthy meals, together with eggs, milk and sugar, earlier than their quick for Lent.
What’s Ash Wednesday?
The day after Shrove Tuesday is named Ash Wednesday, and it’s a day to cleanse the soul as Lent begins.
Ashes, the burnt stays of palm crosses from the earlier yr’s Palm Sunday, are used to mark a cross on the brow of churchgoers to symbolise repentance for sin.
Additionally it is mentioned to function a reminder that loss of life involves everybody.