Ash Wednesday marks the start of a 40-day period which is an allusion to the separation of Jesus in the desert to fast and pray. During this time he was tempted. Matthew 4:1–11, Mark 1:12–13, and Luke 4:1–13. While not specifically instituted in the Bible text, the 40-day period of repentance is also analogous to the 40 days during which Moses repented and fasted in response to the making of the Golden calf.(Exo. 34:27–28) (Jews today follow a 40-day period of repenting in preparation for and during the High Holy Days from Rosh Chodesh Elul to Yom Kippur.)
- A 46 day period (Generally Sundays are not counted so it ends up at 40)
-Not just observed by Catholics
-Traditionally, the ash is created using the Palm leaves from Palm Sunday the previous year
-Ashes can be placed on forehead or back of the hand
-The Sunday before Easter
-Instead of Palms, some congregations collect coats as part of the service and use them to help those in need
-You can find the story Palm Sunday is based on in all four Gospels
Palm Sunday is a Christian movable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in each of the four canonical Gospels.
In most liturgical churches Palm Sunday is celebrated by the blessing and distribution of Palm branches or the branches of other native trees representing the palm branches the crowd scattered in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem. The difficulty of procuring palms in unfavorable climates led to their substitution with branches of native trees, including box, olive, willow, and yew. The Sunday was often named after these substitute trees, as in Yew Sunday, or by the general term Branch Sunday.
-Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus
-The liturgical color for Easter is White
-The White Lilly is the official flower of Easter
-The week before Easter is referred to as "Holy Week"
Lent Season Facts
*The Lenten season color is Purple
-In some traditions, colors change during Holy Week, however in the Disciples tradition, purple remains until Easter where it changes to white.
*Lent is said to be a 40 day period but actually lasts 46 days because many traditions do not count Sundays.
*Originally Lent was 36 days, it was changed to 40 due to the significance of 40 days to Christians
*Lent officially ends on Maundy Thursday, which recognizes the last supper
*In a 2014 study, Chocolate was the food most people were willing to give up for Lent
*The date of Easter is based on the Moon and can be determined to the end of time, because of this we can find the start of Lent (Ash Wednesday) by counting back 46 days.
Easter, also called Pascha (Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance.
Most Christians refer to the week before Easter as "Holy Week"—it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In Western Christianity, Eastertide, or the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the fiftieth day, Pentecost Sunday. In Eastern Christianity, the season of Pascha begins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the fortieth day, the Feast of the Ascension.
Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the sun; rather, its date is determined on a lunisolar calendarsimilar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea established two rules, independence of the Jewish calendar and worldwide uniformity, which were the only rules for Easter explicitly laid down by the council. No details for the computation were specified; these were worked out in practice, a process that took centuries and generated a number of controversies. It has come to be the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21 March, but calculations vary.
Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In most European languages the feast called Easter in English is termed by the words for passover in those languages and in the older English versions of the Bible the term Easter was the term used to translate passover. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and include sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, and decorating Easter eggs (symbols of the empty tomb). The Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, traditionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide. Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades. There are also various traditional Easter foods that vary regionally.