Lent, called Cuaresma in Spanish, represents the 40 day period before Holy Week in Spain. In the old days there where many traditions to observe in Spain but nowadays only few very catholic people acknowledge it at all. Check out these 7 interesting facts about Lent in Spain.

7 interesting facts about Lent in Spain

1. Duration of Lent in Spain

Lent, or Cuaresma in Spanish, takes place the 40 days before easter. It lasts 40 days because that’s how long Jesus spent in the desert meditating before his death.

2. Lent in Spain begins with Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the period or repent and penance. There is a mass on the day, where priests apply ashes in the shape of a cross in people’s forehead while they say “Dust you are and dust you will become”.

Facts about Lent in Spain
Lent in Spain / www.unsplash.com / Grant Whitty

3. Some people fast during Lent in Spain

Catholics are supposed to fast during Lent. Some people in Spain will practice abstinence from eating meat and meat products every Friday until Holy Week.

In the old days, the to go meal for Fridays during lent was sardines.

Lent in Spain
Facts about Lent in Spain / www.unsplash.com / Kamil Szumotalski

4. It determines when the Carnival takes place

The Carnival is a huge celebration to indulge and have fun just before Lent, when people are repenting and fasting. Carnival Tuesday , the biggest day of celebrations and bank holiday in many Spanish cities, takes place the day before Ash Wednesday.

Lent in Spain
Carnival celebrations are really bigs in some cities

5. People get sick of fish during Lent

In many places, there is a celebration called “The burial of the sardine”. There is a huge parade and at the end of it people burn a huge fake sardine.

As during Lent people eat sardines every Friday they get so sick of them so just before they literally burn a huge one as a protest.

Lent in Spain
Entierro de la Sardina / https://activasur.com

6. When does Lent finishes in Spain?

It finishes the Holy Thursday where the Holy Week events begin.

7. What else are people supposed to do during Lent in Spain?

In some extremes people will fast everyday, only doing one big meal per day. Catholics are also supposed to give money to charity, make sacrifices in their everyday lives, pray a lot and repent from their sins.

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