Septuagesima Sunday is a Sunday in the traditional calendars of the Western Church. It traditionally begins the run-up for Lent, sometimes called pre-Lent or Shrovetide. It is always the third Sunday before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which can also be seen as the ninth Sunday before Easter. The Latin word septuagesima means 'seventy', based on counting on in tens from quadragesima, 'forty', the traditional name for Lent. It is actually 63 days before Easter. The following three Sundays are called Sexagesima, Quinquagesima and Quadragesima, the last being the first Sunday of Lent. In modern church calendars, Septuagesima is usually either figured as part of an extended Epiphanytide or the first, and far shorter, of two periods of Ordinary Time. The earliest possible date for Septuagesima, depending on the date of Easter, is 18 January, and its latest possible date is 22 February. However, if Septuagesima falls on or before Candlemas, 2 Febraury, in modern calendars it is subsumed into those seasonal celebrations. Where Carnival and Mardi Gras celebrations are kept at their traditional time, they usually occur between Septuagesima and Lent.

See also the Wikipedia article on Septuagesima.

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