When Is Lent in 2021? Everything to Know About the History Behind It, When It Starts and When It Ends

When Is Lent in 2021? Everything to Know About the History Behind It, When It Starts and When It Ends

Lent is a somber period of 40 days before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends three days before the Easter bunny comes visiting.

If you follow the Christian faith, you probably already know about this. However, there are other curious minds who would like to know more about Lent. Firstly, Lent is a somber period of 40 days before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday, which was on February 17 in 2021, and people are expected to spend this season to reflect and prepare before the celebrations of Easter.

The leaner lifestyle followed during this period is to replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. The period is observed by fasting from food and festivities. Lent is an old English word meaning "lengthen" and it refers to days getting longer. At the end of the period comes Easter, which is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus after his death on the cross.

Everyone must be busy planning their Easter menus, but before the happy occasion arrives, people will be using the 6-week period to do penance and fast, as per GoodHousekeeping.


When will it start and when will it end?

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and it gives everyone the chance to look back on their year and how they have been living their lives. It's also a time to think about the mistakes and learn from them. In the past in Rome, the first day of Lent was when sinners used to begin their period of public penance, as per Britannica. They were sprinkled with ashes, dressed in sackcloth, and kept apart until they were reconciled with the Christian community on Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter. These practices were no longer in use after the 8th–10th century period. Instead, Ash Wednesday was when the entire congregation would be sprinkled with ashes.

In 2021, Lent began on February 17 and will last for 40 days. According to Father William Saunders of the Catholic Education Resource Center, "The number 40 has always had special spiritual significance regarding preparation ... most importantly, Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert before He began His public ministry (Matthew 4:2)."


Lent will end three days before Easter Sunday on Thursday, April 1, 2021. There are a bunch of holy days before Easter, so the week prior is called Holy Week, according to GoodHousekeeping. It starts with Palm Sunday, which is meant to commemorate Jesus's triumphant arrival in Jerusalem, where he received palm branches at his feet. On Holy Wednesday, the Christian faith acknowledges Judas's plan to betray Jesus. Then comes Maundy Thursday to observe the day when the Last Supper between Jesus and his disciples took place. And, that is the end of Lent.


The date for Lent is different each year because Easter is a floating holiday. There is no fixed date for it as it takes place on the first Sunday after the full moon date, as per TimeandDate. It usually falls after March 21. If the full moon falls on a Sunday, Easter would take place the next Sunday. The festival is connected to the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere but not a specific date. Lent starts 46 days before Easter every year, so its date also varies. It includes 40 days of fasting, not including Sundays.

Source: Getty Images | Photo by Jon Cherry

People will give up many things like entertainment, alcohol, and other things, during that time. Many people might choose to give up their favorite streaming service, video games, confectionery, fast food, coffee, gossip, and more. Once you have gone without these items for 40 days, you will probably feel lighter, and ready to enjoy a feast. Easter takes place on April 4 in 2021. While you wait for Lent to end, you can ready your home for the Easter bunny.

What do you choose to give up during Lent season? Let us know.





Cover image source: Getty Images|Photo by Frederica Aban / EyeEm

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