TURA, March 11 � The holy season of Lent on the Christian calendar began with Ash Wednesday on March 9, with thousands of Roman Catholics in Garo Hills attending special church service to partake in the religious worship.
Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter, Sundays not being included in the count. The 40-day period includes the most holy week on the Christian calendar, which begins with Palm Sunday to recall the triumphant entry of Lord Jesus Christ to his beloved city of Jerusalem for the last time, before culminating with the observance of Good Friday and celebration of Easter Sunday.
On Ash Wednesday church service, the priest lightly rubs the sign of the cross with ashes onto the forehead of worshipers. Several thousand Catholics throughout the Garo Hills took part in it.
Lent is a period of soul-searching when Christians prepare for Easter by observing fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The holy season is mostly observed by the Roman Catholics, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Anglican denominations. Eastern Orthodox churches observe Lent or Great Lent during the 6 weeks or 40 days preceding Palm Sunday with fasting continuing during the holy week of Easter. Lent for Eastern Ortodox Churches begins on Monday and Ash Wednesday is not observed.