How Did Lent Get its Name, What Does it Mean, and Why Is the Season of Easter Fasting Called “Lent”?

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and is the forty-day fast that precedes Easter.

The forty days are an imitation of Christ’s preparation for his ministry, which reached its climax with the crucifixion and resurrection.

The word Lent has no religious significance whatsoever.

It comes from the Old English word Lencten, which was the Anglo-Saxon name for the season we now call spring, within which Easter is celebrated.

In all languages other than English, the season of Easter fasting has a name derived from the Latin term Quadragesima, or “the forty days.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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