(Anglo-Saxon, lencten). Lenctentid (spring-tide) was the Saxon name for March, because in this month there is a manifest lengthening of the days. As the chief part of the great fast falls in March, this period of fast received the name of the Lencten-fæsten, or Lent. It is from Ash Wednesday to Easter.
The Fast of thirty-six days was introduced in the fourth century. Felix III. added four more days in 487, to make it correspond with our Lord's fast in the wilderness.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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