ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Holidays and Celebrations»
  • Christian Holidays

Lent 2011

Updated on October 12, 2010

What is Lent?

Lent, is the 40 day period of fasting and prayer from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday before Easter. The 40 days represents the time Jesus spent in the desert overcoming temptation by Satan. The period of Lent is preparation for the annual commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, celebrated during Holy Week. Lent is a Teutonic word , meaning spring season.

Shrove Tuesday – 8 March 2011

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent starts: the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It's a day of penitence, to clean the soul, and a day of celebration as the last chance to feast before Lent begins.

Shrove Tuesday is sometimes called Pancake Day after the fried batter recipe traditionally eaten on this day. The eating of pancakes is part of an ancient custom with deeply religious roots.

The name Shrove comes from the old word "shrive" which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began.

Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration as well as penitence, because it's the last day before Lent. During Lent there are many foods that some Christians - historically and today - would not eat: foods such as meat and fish, fats, eggs, and milky foods. On Shrove Tuesday, therefore, they would eat up all the perishable foods that wouldn’t last the forty days. Pancakes became associated with Shrove Tuesday as they were a dish that could use up all the eggs, fats and milk in the house with just the addition of flour.

Ash Wednesday - 9 March 2011

The Christian season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. The date of Ash Wednesday varies each year according to the date of Easter. It is always six-and-a-half weeks before Easter.

Ash Wednesday is a Christian festival. For Western Christian churches it marks the beginning of six and a half weeks of repentance, fasting and abstinence in preparation for the most important Christian festival of Easter.

Roman Catholic, Anglican and some other churches will hold services at which worshippers are marked with ashes as a sign of penitence and mortality. In some Churches the ashes used on Ash Wednesday are made by burning the palm crosses that were blessed on the previous Palm Sunday.

For Christians ashes are a symbol of being sorry for things they have done wrong and want to get rid of forever. It is also a reminder to them that we all come from ashes, and to ashes we all will return. For Christians, the marking on the forehead with ash marks the commitment to Jesus Christ and God.

Clean Monday - 7th March 2011

Clean Monday, also known as Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Monday of Lent or (in Cyprusonly) Green Monday, is the first day of the Eastern Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic Great Lent. It always falls at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday.

The common term for this day, "Clean Monday," refers to the leaving behind of sinful attitudes and non-fasting foods. Clean Monday—and thus Lent itself—begins on the preceding Sunday night, at a special service called Forgiveness Vespers, which culminates with the Ceremony of Mutual Forgiveness, at which all present will bow down before one another and ask forgiveness. In this way, people begin Lent with a clean conscience, with forgiveness, and with renewed Christian love.

Clean Monday is a public holiday in Greece and Cyprus, where it is celebrated with outdoor excursions, a picnic of the foods that will be given up during the fasting period, and the widespread custom of flying kites. Eating meat, eggs and dairy products is traditionally forbidden to Christians throughout Lent, with fish being eaten only on major feast days.

In Galaxidi (Greece), the "Clean Monday" celebration is one of the messiest experiences you're likely to encounter. For over 200 years, residents have been holding a flour war the leaves everyone caked in colored flour from head to toe. After getting cleaned off you can enjoy the traditional Clean Monday dish of “lagana”, a flat bread with olive oil.

Palm Sunday – 17 April 2011

The Sunday before Easter is known as Palm Sunday. It celebrates Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem for the Jewish festival of Passover. Great crowds of people lined the streets waving palm branches to welcome him. They spread branches on the road – and even laid down their clothes. They shouted 'Hosanna!' which means 'Save us Now!' When the crosses used in the Palm Sunday service are converted to ashes, the worshippers are reminded that defeat and crucifixion swiftly followed triumph.

But using the ashes to mark the cross on the believer's forehead symbolises that through Christ's death and resurrection, all Christians can be free from sin.

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is the day after Good Friday. It is the day before Easter and the last day of Holy Week, in which Christians prepare for Easter.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Derek 7 years ago

      what time on Easter Saturday does lent finish??



    • profile image

      Mainstay Ministries 7 years ago

      Jesus Christ's passion to save us from our sins is a sublime example for us who believes in Him. This Lenten Season, let us dwell in His words.

    • profile image

      caroline 7 years ago

      In the Roman Catholic Church, Lent officially ends at sundown on 21 April (Holy Thursday), with the beginning of the mass of the Lord’s Supper.

    • profile image

      Mandy 7 years ago

      @ Julie - My fiance and I are Episcopalian and we observe Lent. Some divisions of the Lutheran faith also observe Lent.

    • profile image

      Pado 7 years ago

      First off, please see if what I'm saying is legit, since I don't want to be leading anyone astray. Based on what I've read throughout a lot of Paul's letters, there isn't any technical necessity of observing lent. The bible also writes about how abstaining from certain foods is not necessary. "Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. " (Colossians 2:16) Furthermore, the idea of lent is fasting, which is to show commitment to God, correct? I'm not discouraging the practice of Lent, I'm just saying that it is more of a religious tradition than a tenement. I guess, for instance, that I technically don't celebrate Lent, but I still give something up for the 46 days (though I know technically not to worry about the Sundays, I figured I might as well keep doing so for the full period) as a way of reminding myself and showing God that whatever it is isn't as important as God. I am not Catholic, but would like to know if what I've said might have been misguided.

    • profile image

      vimala 7 years ago

      am also catholic and am never counting days because that days only am doing some helping mind thinks & work hard & don't taken non veg

    • profile image

      Allison 7 years ago

      I am also Catholic and never heard of abstaining from,dairy and eggs during Lent,just meat on Fridays and Ash Wednesday.

    • profile image

      steven 7 years ago

      The fast of lent has the same meaning and quality of Ramadahn as practiced by the muslims. If a person claims to be a christian then they are to follow as best they can in the footsteps of Jesus. To do as Jesus did. This means that in todays world if you were to fast properly during lent then you would only drink water and only eat unlevened bread (bread without yeast) for the period of lent. This means bread and water only for 40 days and 40 nights. Very few people actualy do this as its very difficult. But hay who ever stated that being a real christian was easy.

    • profile image

      sean 7 years ago

      st.patricks day and other saints feast days are also not counted in lent as it is a sin to fast on holy days.

    • profile image

      Larbi 7 years ago

      Fasting during lent period must be taught every christian to part take.

    • profile image

      Ashraf 7 years ago

      I am sorry, that many did not understand that holy Bible is not mansion Lent even single time. Jesus fast for 40 days in begining of His ministry, but man made tradtion we all are fellowing. Let's not worry about man made tradtion but focuse on God world.

    • profile image

      Benge 7 years ago

      This is very informatitive. I always fast something during the Lenten period but didn't know the Sundays were not counted. I don't think there are prescribed foods that have to be fasted, it's always best to give up something that you really enjoy.

    • profile image

      Nicole  7 years ago

      Very informative never really understood the meaning but after reading this I now understand thank you.

    • profile image

      Michelle D 7 years ago

      Can some-one tell me what we do on holy Saturday and how we go about breaking the fast. Is there a specific time or tradition to follow.

    • profile image

      salome 7 years ago

      Thanks for the enlightenment, I thought it was only meat that was not supposed to be taken/eaten only on Ash Wednesday and Fridays. Thanks again I've ben enlightened.

    • profile image 7 years ago

      The six Sundays in Lent are not counted among the forty days of Lent because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter", a celebration of Jesus' victory over sin and death.

    • profile image

      Gene 7 years ago

      Actually I have always ate just Fish or Lamb.

    • profile image

      AnnieRoseVA 7 years ago

      Nice hub and explanation of Lent and the traditions celebrated. Thanks for writing it.

    • profile image

      ;]  7 years ago


    • profile image

      David 7 years ago

      Oh no. Salvation by works. The lords day is actually saturday. If you study you will know that it isn't sunday. You can argue but study it and you will know. Even in the catolic writtings of the various popes and bishops state that saturday is the sabbath.

    • profile image

      Sarah 7 years ago

      I'm Catholic. but i want to know the foods that we're supposed to abstain from. I know that we're supposed to abstain from meats, bread,and dairy products.. Is there anything I'm missing?

    • profile image

      MrsMort 7 years ago

      I agree that that formality of the Sundays and the extra six days should not matter when you think of Lent and prayer. You don't always have to give something up, you can pledge to do something, like take extra food for the food pantry or donate sometime to be a volunteer.

    • profile image

      Sheba 7 years ago

      Comment to Samantha, Comments like yours should be kept to yourself.

    • profile image

      Samantha 7 years ago

      Gosh this is stupid...

      Eat what the hell you want!

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 7 years ago from Houston TX

      Nice hub especially this Lenten season, i love this.thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Julie 7 years ago

      I'm a Catholic and I wonder what other religions recognize lent with ash Wednesday and do other religions abstain from meat on Fridays?

    • profile image

      brea 7 years ago

      This is great and very informative!

    • profile image

      Aylii 7 years ago

      David, you obviously like the bum.

    • profile image

      jen 7 years ago

      It b nice if I should share this on fb

    • profile image

      Dianne 7 years ago

      I only wanted to look up what the date was

    • profile image

      David 7 years ago

      Is the number of days really that important when you compare it with what is inyour heart?

    • profile image

      Patricia 7 years ago

      Lent is always 46 days every year, but Sundays are excluded, leaving 40 days in the 6.5 week period to holy Saturday, the day before Easter i.e. (6x7)+3.5=42+3.5=45.6 or ~46days

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 7 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Excellent explanation of Holy Week.

    • profile image

      Rima 7 years ago

      so do you actually eat anything you like on Sundays? including meat and bread?

    • profile image

      Kasmir 7 years ago

      They don't count Sundays in Lent becasue it's Gods day and was considered a sin to fast on Sundays. Lent IS 46 days but Sundays are not counted.

    • profile image

      caitlin 7 years ago

      you don't count the 6 sundays during lent

    • profile image

      theodene 7 years ago

      yes, this year, Lent is 46 days. is that a problem though? it represents the 40 days and 40 nights that Jesus was tempted by Satan. Why should an additional 6 days make a difference when Jesus sacrificed himself for all our sins?

    • profile image

      fiona 7 years ago

      Hi, this is actually 46 days and not 40 days.