Lent is the chief fast in Christian religion, which is the most important in the year for all believers. The main goal of Lent is to prepare a person for the celebration of Easter and it lasts for 40 days and ends in a day before Easter. During these time people read special prayers, which differ from those, read in usual days or other holidays, keep to a special diet, clean their souls from wicked thoughts and feelings and remember the life and death of Christ. It is an extremely important time for any person because during this period he repents for his deeds, purifies his soul and body and begins a sort of a “new life”. That is why every believer knows, when is Lent in 2017, and keeps to the Christian calendar.
History of Lent
Modern historians haven’t come to a common opinion about the exact days of the beginning of Lent and its duration. It is so because a number of religions existed much earlier and each of them had its own fast practice. There exist a lot of writings, which contain totally different information on this question. But most people incline to believe that earlier Lent has become a tradition of pagans, who fasted in order to receive baptism. They believed that a person needed those 40 days to clean his soul and “reborn”, only in this case he can be baptized. They believed that if a person, who didn’t change his thoughts and didn’t do anything spiritually to purify his mind, couldn’t move to another level of faith and become closer to the God. Later this custom came to Christians, who borrowed all the traditions of this fast.
As it has already been mentioned, Lent lasts for 40 days. There is no common opinion concerning this number. Some people think that it was the example of Christ, who fasted in a desert for 40 days and he became an example for believers. Others think that 40 days mean a period, during which Christ spent in a hearse.
Further, you will know, what is the day of Lent 2017.
Here are main traditions, which believers do to prepare for the main day:
- Many cultures celebrate the last day before Lent and make special festivals, where they can eat what they want and have fun before these 40 days of fast and denying entertainments and some types of food;
- The preparation begins in 4 weeks before the Lent itself. Each week has its own history and its own name. On the first week, which is called Week of Zacchaeus, people begin reading special prayers in order to become closer to the God. On the second week, called the week of the Publican and the Pharisee, people are called to think about repentance and their sins. The third week — week of the Prodigal Son – allows people eat meat. And during the last week – week of the Last Judgment – believers are not allowed to eat meat, but only dairy and eggs. Then goes the last Sunday before Lent, called Forgiveness Sunday – the day, when the God forgives all your sins, so do you.
- Lent lasts for 6 weeks and one so-called Good Friday. Every year dates of the fast change, depending on the date of Easter. People already know, when is Lent day 2017 and are ready to follow the calendar.
- During this time people visit worships and read special prayers, which change every week and are dedicated to different people, saints, and events.
- During Lent time people are forbidden to eat meat products, only fish is allowed on some days. Usually, people are allowed to eat once a day, on Good Day there is no food at all. Also, most people deny food on Saturday before Easter. Mostly food is Lenten, without butter and cold. On some days a glass of wine is allowed.
When is Lent in 2017, Calendar
In the coming year, Lent will begin on Wednesday, March 1st and end on Saturday, April 15th. On the first and the last weeks, the fast is especially strict. On Lent Monday and Good Friday people are forbidden to eat at all. On other Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays people must keep to xerophagy, on Tuesdays and Thursdays they are allowed to eat warm meals without butter and on Saturdays and Sundays – meals with butter.
This year April 7th is Annunciation (the day, when Christ was conceived), and April 9th is Palm Day (the day, when Christ entered Jerusalem). On these days people will be allowed to eat fish. To be more concrete, open the calendar and mark, what day is Lent in 2017 and other important days during the fast period.