Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
Shrove, derived from “shrive,” refers to the confession of sins usual in the European Middle Ages as a preparation for Lent. Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.
Monday that begins the season of Great Lent in Eastern Orthodox Churches.
Popularly known as the Bean-throwing Festival, Setsunbun-sai marks the end of winter and the eve of the first day of spring according to the ancient East Asian solar calendar familiar to Japanese. Beans are thrown into each room of the house and then through the outer doors with the shout, “Devils out, Fortune in!” Today, Setsunbun-sai is a happy family festival.