Is Ash Wednesday the first day of lent?
Yes, Ash Wednesday is the first day of lent, triggering the 40-day period of sacrifice.
Lent is traditionally a time of fasting and sacrifice, with millions of people giving up things like crisps or sweets before Easter.
This is intended as a sign of sacrifice and Christians do it to represent Jesus Christ’s sacrifice when he went into the desert to pray and fast for the 40 days before later dying on the cross.
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The ashes are prepared by burning palm leaves from the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebrations.
The ashes have biblical significance as a means of expressing grief, both in the sense of mourning and in expressing sorrow for sins and faults.
Ash Wednesday is exactly 46 days before Easter Sunday, a moveable feast based on the cycles of the moon.
This year, Ash Wednesday falls on February 25.
When is Easter this year?
The Easter bank holidays this year are as follows:
- Friday, April 10 – Good Friday
- Monday, April 13 – Easter Monday