Dates: Lent is a forty-day period before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday. We skip Sundays when we count the forty days, because Sundays commemorate the Resurrection. Lent begins on 22 February 2012 and ends on 7 April 2012, which is the day before Easter.
In the Roman Catholic Church, Lent officially ends earlier than for the rest of us, at sundown on 5 April (Holy Thursday), with the beginning of the mass of the Lord’s Supper.
Colors: In most churches, the decorations are purple, the royal color, to prepare for the King.
Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock. Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves.