Many Christians are observing Lent, the forty week days preceding what is called Easter.* They are commemorating Christ's forty days of fasting and temptation as a season of special penitence, self denial, and preparation for the feast of Easter. Whenever we fast, we must ask ourselves: Will this fast be useful --or futile?**
"PASCHA mistranslated "Easter" in Acts 12:4 denotes the Passover. The phrase "after the Passover" signifies after the whole festival was at an end. The term Easter is not of Christian origin. It is another form of ASTARTE, one of the titles of the Chaldean goddess the queen of heaven. The festival of Pasch held by Christians in post-apostolic times was a continuation of the Jewish feast, but was not instituted by Christ, nor was it connected with Lent. From this Pasch the Pagan festival of Easter was quite distinct and was introduced into the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt to adapt Pagan festivals to Christianity." An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words by W. E. Vine.