Easter calendar: Key dates this week –When does Lent start?

You may have already spotted hot cross buns and Easter eggs in the supermarket, meaning the countdown to Easter has started. Lent begins this week with Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. Here are all the Easter 2022 dates you need to put in your diary, including school and bank holidays.

The sun is shining brighter and the temperature is slowly climbing –it can only mean one thing: spring is on the horizon.

The countdown to Easter begins this week, as Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent.

What are the key Easter dates for your calendar in 2022?

Tuesday, March 1 –Shrove Tuesday

Pancake Day takes place on Tuesday, marking the first event in the Easter Calendar.

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Traditionally, Shrove Tuesday was a time for Christians to go to confession and become’shriven’ meaning absolved of their sins.

Because Pancake Day falls just before Lent –a period of abstinence from rich foods including butter and eggs –cooking pancakes became a tasty tradition to use up these ingredients.

Wednesday, March 2 –Ash Wednesday

Shrove Tuesday is followed by Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent and a day for prayer and repentance.

Some Christians go to Church on Ash Wednesday and have an ash cross drawn on their forehead, symbolising death as people think back to Jesus’ resurrection and their own sins.

From Ash Wednesday, there are 40 days (excluding Sundays) of Lent.

Thursday, April 14 –Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday commemorates the day of Jesus’ Last Supper.

For Christians, this is a day to remember Jesus’ message of love and kindness.

At the Vatican, the Pope washes and kisses the feet of 12 people, as Jesus did for his disciples.

In the UK, the Queen often attends a church service called the Ceremony of the Royal Maundy, where she hands out’Maundy money’ to older people.

Friday, April 15 –Good Friday

Good Friday, also sometimes known as Holy Friday, is the day when Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Many Christians devote this day to prayer, and some choose to fast as they remember the suffering of Christ.

For non-Christians, this day is the start of the Easter Bank Holiday in the UK.

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Sunday, April 17 –Easter Sunday

Christians celebrate Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday, often celebrating with special church services and enjoying an Easter lunch with family to mark the end of Lent.

Although not a Christian tradition, chocolate Easter eggs are often enjoyed on Easter Sunday too as an indulgence after the Lent period of abstinence.

Monday, April 18 –Easter Monday

Easter Monday is a bank holiday in the UK.

Although the Bible doesn’t detail what happened on Easter Monday, many Christian cultures around the world celebrate Easter Monday to round off their Easter Week celebrations.

When does Lent end?

The official end date of Lent is Saturday, April 16, 2022 –the day before Easter Sunday.

When is the school Easter Holiday?

Some schools around the country may differ, so check with your school or local council website.

However, most schools in the UK will close for the Easter Holiday between April 4 and April 18, reopening on Tuesday, April 19.

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