1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What Determines the Date of Ash Wednesday?

By

Indonesian Catholics Celebrate Ash Wednesday
Robertus Pudyanto / Stringer/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Question: What Determines the Date of Ash Wednesday?
Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, falls on a different date each year. What determines the date of Ash Wednesday?
Answer: Two things determine the date of Ash Wednesday. The first is the date of Easter. (See How Is the Date of Easter Calculated? to learn more about what determines the date of Easter.)

The second is the length of Lent. While Lent is 40 days, Sundays are not included in the count. (See How Are the 40 Days of Lent Calculated? for more information.) There are six Sundays that fall within the 40 days of Lent, so Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, falls 46 days before Easter every year.

See When Is Ash Wednesday? to determine the date of Ash Wednesday in this and future years.

FAQs on What Determines the Date of Ash Wednesday:

More FAQs on Ash Wednesday:

Stay up to date on the latest Catholicism news and learn more about the Catholic Faith. Sign up for our free newsletter today!

  1. About.com
  2. Religion & Spirituality
  3. Catholicism
  4. Holy Days and Holidays
  5. What Determines the Date of Ash Wednesday?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.