When is Ash Wednesday?
When does Lent start?


When is Ash Wednesday?

This answer is for the western churches that follow the Gregorian calendar. Many churches in the western hemisphere and western Europe follow the Gregorian calendar.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, more than 40 days before Easter. Lent is a period of 40 days not counting Sundays, so Ash Wednesday is actually 46 days before Easter, or roughly 6 and a half weeks.

Here's the dates of Ash Wednesday. Afterward, I'll tell you a bit about the calculations for the dates of Easter, which is necessary to figure out when Ash Wednesday falls each year.



When is Ash Wednesday - Dates of Ash Wednesday

2010 - Wednesday, February 17

2011 - Wednesday, March 9

2012 - Wednesday, February 22

2013 - Wednesday, February 13

2014 - Wednesday, March 5

2015 - Wednesday, February 18

2016 - Wednesday, February 10

2017 - Wednesday, March 1

2018 - Wednesday, February 14

2019 - Wednesday, March 6

2020 - Wednesday, February 26

2021 - Wednesday, February 17

2022 - Wednesday, March 2

2023 - Wednesday, February 22

2024 - Wednesday, February 14

2025 - Wednesday, March 5

2026 - Wednesday, February 18

2027 - Wednesday, February 10

2028 - Wednesday, March 1

2029 - Wednesday, February 14

2030 - Wednesday, March 6


When is Ash Wednesday - It Depends on Easter

Since Easter is a movable feast - the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox - and can fall anywhere between March 22nd and April 25th, Ash Wednesday falls on the Wednesday precisely 46 days before Easter, so it can land anywhere on one of 35 days between February 4th and March 10th.

In my seminary days I wrote a research paper on calculating what day is Easter.

Calculating Easter is fairly complex, with western Easter dates based on the Gregorian calendar, orthodox Easter dates based on the Julian calendar, astronomical charts for the full moons and precise time of the spring equinox, leap years, century years, time zones, date lines, mathematical formulas, and more! And even I got confused in all the research!

When I was in school, I liked math. Probably because I was proud and liked showing off that I knew the answer. Later in my seminary, I was called "a walking encyclopedia", something I'm not very proud of today. O well, I still am thankful for the gift of knowledge. My high school graduation diploma says, "All knowledge is from God."



In the Eastern Churches, Great Lent starts on the Monday 7 weeks before the Orthodox Easter Sunday, which is not always the same day as in the western churches. (Some years it coincides.)

That Monday is called Clean Monday, and is also known as Ash Monday, Pure Monday, or Green Monday.



Go to What is Lent - Poems, Activities, and Special Days of the Lenten Season.

Go to Home Page.



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