A simplified look at what Lent and Easter are and why they are so important in Christianity.
Appropriate for primary and secondary schools, liturgy groups or youth groups who may be unfamiliar with Catholicism.
What are Lent and Easter?
Lent is the 40 days before Easter in the Christian calendar.
Easter is the festival that celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus.
Why is it called Lent?
Lent is an old English word meaning ‘lengthen’. Lent falls in spring, when the days begin to
When does Lent begin?
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, the day after Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake Day!
What does Lent mean for Christians?
• Lent is a time of reflection for many Christians.
• The 40 days of Lent represent the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness at thestart of his ministry.
• Jesus fasted during this time, which is why many Christians choose to give upcertain foods during Lent.
What other days might you hear about during Lent?
There are quite a few days with special names that take place over Lent and Easter, sometimes it can be confusing knowing which day comes first!
Below is a list of days that make up Holy Week: the week leading up to Easter Sunday.
• Palm Sunday
• Maundy Thursday
• Good Friday
• Holy Saturday
• Easter Sunday
Lent is the 40 days that comes before Easter, so what is Easter?
The Easter Story is very important in Christianity. On Good Friday Jesus was executed by crucifixion.
His body was taken to a cave where he was buried. To stop anyone getting into the cave, an enormous stone was placed infront of the entrance.
On the Sunday people went to the cave and found that the stone was moved and Jesus’ body was gone. Jesus had risen from the dead, because he is the Son of God.
This is why Christians celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
What reminds you of Easter?
• Easter Bunny
• Easter eggs
• Hot cross buns
• Easter parades
It is believed that the tradition of giving chocolate and gifts at Easter goes back to the 1800s! Traditional Easter games your grandparents, or great-grandparents, might have played included “Tap the Egg” or Egg-Knocking” which involved tapping your hard-boiled egg against other plays eggs to see which egg broke first.
Lent & Easter traditions from around the world…
• Giving up a certain food for Lent is a tradition observed all over the world
• In countries across the world people attend church on Easter Sunday
• In Ukraine people often decorate eggs with beautiful designs made of beeswax
• In Florence, Italy, many celebrate with firework displays known as “Scoppio del Carro”
• In the U.K. families often enjoy an Easter Sunday roast dinner
• In Haux, a town in southern France, a giant omelette is served in the town centre on Easter Monday, using over 4,000 eggs and feeding up to 1,000 people
• The White House, home to America’s President, has famously hosted the Easter Egg Roll for over 100 years, which includes rolling coloured hard-boiled eggs along the grass in a race using large spoons