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When Is Lent? Start Date, End Date, Practices, History And Significance

The term 'Lent' is derived from the Anglo Saxon word 'lencten' which means 'Spring'. This is a popular period which is the annual Christian holiday for people who belong to the Christian community. This is the time when Christians fast, pray and reflect on the sacrifices made by Jesus Christ. Fasting is done on this day and people give up something to mark this day.

On these 40 days of Lent, it is believed that Jesus Christ spent his time in the desert without food and rejecting the temptation by Satan, mentions the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Apart from that, they are encouraged to recall the sacraments of baptism and penance, which is included in preparation for Easter Sunday. Let us know more about Lent, the start and end date, practices, history ad significance associated with it.

Lent 2022: Start And End Date

Easter is observed on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, which is the first full moon on or after the Spring Equinox. Across the globe, Christians take the 40 days preceding Easter and keep a fast and prepare for the celebration of Jesus' resurrection on Easter Sunday. The date changes depending on the Christian denomination, is 40 days long and doesn't include Sundays. Therefore, approximately it lasts for 44 or 46 days. Lent follows the liturgical calendar, meaning the exact date it falls each year changes. This year Lent will begin on 02 March (with Ash Wednesday) and end on 14 April (Thursday). On Ash Wednesday, priests gather ashes from the previous Palm Sunday and rub them on the foreheads of congregants and cite Genesis 3:19: "...For you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Lent 2022: Practices And Celebrations

Christians believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected on Easter Sunday and therefore 40 days preceding Easter, they fast and prepare for the celebration. There are several ways to celebrate Lent and practices varies across the globe. Some fast while others give up one thing that is associated with luxury or unhealthy such as eating non-veg food items or smoking, etc. Feasts are also organised in the memory of Christ on Easter Sunday, after fasting from Monday to Saturday. Also, people who are ardent followers of Christianity, tend to perform strict practices such as abstaining from oil, wine, dairy products etc.

The Holy Week that is observed by the Christians include Holy Wednesday (which acknowledges Judas' plan to deceive Jesus), Maundy Thursday (which commemorates Jesus's last supper), and Good Friday (which is when Christians recall the crucification of their savior). The final day of Holy Week is Easter Sunday when people from this community acknowledge that Jesus rose from his tomb.

Lent 2022: History And Significance

According to Catholic Education Resource Center, since the inception of the Church, it is mentioned that the period of Lent is observed before Easter and it began after Jesus Christ was baptised in the Jordan River and then he headed on his journey to the desert for 40 days. This is the reason, the number 40 holds immense significance in the Jewish-Christian traditions. It is believed that during Christ's 40-day fasting period in the desert, he could overcome Satan's temptations and numerous tests which made him more powerful and paved a way for him to carry his mission of preaching, healing and ultimately saving humanity from all kinds of sins.