27/02/2017 16:10 GMT | Updated 27/02/2017 16:11 GMT

When Does Lent 2017 Start And What Is Ash Wednesday?

What will you give up?

Lent is a Christian season that lasts for 40 days and nights leading up to Easter – the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead.

During this period, devotees focus on simple living in the form of prayer and fasting, in a modern-day model of Christ’s 40 day fast in the desert.

The word Lent is a shortened version of the Old English word “Lenten”, meaning “spring.”

czarny_bez via Getty Images
During Lent devotees focus on simple living in the form of prayer and fasting

When does Lent start?

Wednesday March 1 2017.

How long does Lent last?

There are 40 days in Lent, excluding Sundays, so Lent 2017 will end on Thursday April 13.

What do people give up for Lent?

The reason we indulge in pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is because they contain fat, butter and eggs, all of which used to be forbidden during Lent. These days, participants tend to give up less vital dietary ingredients such as chocolate or coffee.

This year Pope Francis has called for Christians to abandon “the love of money” that leads to indifference towards others.

What is Ash Wednesday?

The first day of Lent is Ash Wednesday.

What is Shrove Tuesday?

Shrove Tuesday commemorates the eve of Lent (40 days and nights of fasting and prayers before Easter), and is a day where one confesses one’s sins and asks God for absolution.

The word Shrove comes from the Old English word Shrive – to confess one’s sins.