When does Lent start and end?
|2016||10 February||24 March||2015||18 February||2 April|
|2014||5 March||17 April|
During the 40 days before Easter, Roman Catholics are supposed to abstain from all bodily pleasures, including the consumption of meat.
This is intended to remember the fasting of Jesus, who spent 40 days in the desert before beginning his ministry.
The word "lent" is derived from the Anglo-Saxon 'lencten' which literally means "spring". 'Lencten' has a root in the Germanic word for long, which assigned itself to Spring as the days become longer.
In several countries, Lent marks the start of spring.
The wild daffodil (pictured above ) is known as the Lent Lily as it flowers early enough in the year to coincide with the period of Lent.
The Easter period influences a range of festivals and events. The following is an overview of the events. Click the name of the event to read more about an individual event.
|Carnival||8 February||A celebration of the coming of Easter (and Spring) before the period of Lent begins. The name is said to derive from the Latin 'Carne Vale' meaning without flesh referring to no consumption of meat during Lent.|
|Fasching||8 February||Monday before Ash Wednesday.|
|Shrove Tuesday||9 February||Pancake Tuesday/Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday).The Tuesday before lent is the last chance to feast for 40 days.|
|Start of Lent|
|Ash Wednesday||10 February||Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent. The custom was that churchgoers would be marked on the forehead with a cross of ash to symbolise death and regret for past sins.|
|Mothering Sunday||6 March||On the fourth Sunday in Lent in England, families attended the church they were baptised in (their Mother church).|
|Maundy Thursday||24 March||Commemorates Jesus' last supper with his disciples. Lent ends at sundown on Maundy Thursday.|
|End of Lent|
|Good Friday||25 March||Good Friday occurs on the Friday before Easter. The day commemorates the Crucifixion of Jesus.|
|Holy Saturday||26 March|
|Easter Sunday||27 March||Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead after his death by crucifixion|
|Ascension Day||5 May||Commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven forty days after resurrection.|
|WhitMonday||16 May||Commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit in the form of flames to the Apostles.|