Lent is the forty days before Easter. It reminds us of the forty days Jesus spent in the desert before he began his work of teaching and healing.
In the Middle Ages, Lent was a time of fasting. This meant that people went without such food as meat, eggs and cream. On the day before Lent began, they used up all the fats in the house by making pancakes and enjoying the kinds of food they would go without until Easter. This is how the tradition of Pancake Tuesday began.
Ash Wednesday or Céadaoin an Luathrigh, the first day of Lent. It is a day of fast and abstinence.
During Lent we do as Jesus did when he was in the wilderness. We pay more attention to God who is always with us, we pay more attention to other people.
Ash Wednesday gets its name from a custom which began in the sixth century when Gregory was pope. The ash which we use on Ash Wednesday comes from burning the palms used on Palm Sunday last year. It is placed on our foreheads in the sign of the cross while the following words are said “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel”.