The Great Fast is our annual preparation for the feast of Pascha. In English, it is often referred to as Holy Lent, from the Anglo-Saxon word for springtime, Lencten.
The Church’s hymns and prayers for the Great Fast, as well as for the preparatory weeks leading up to it, are found in the liturgical book called the Tradition. Thus, the Great Fast and the weeks before it are sometimes called the Time of the Triodion.
The Great Fast begins on Monday of the seventh week before Pascha; it lasts for forty days, ending on Friday of the sixth week of the Fast. (The forty days of the Fast are shown in light purple in the table below.) The following eight days (Lazarus Saturday, Palm Sunday, and the days of Great Holy Week) are not counted as part of the Great Fast.