What are you giving up for Lent?
It’s a popular question Catholics ask each other, but some aren’t even aware of the history behind the tradition.
Lent is the 40-day period from Ash Wednesday to Easter when practicing Catholics give up a luxury as a form of penitence. Lent used to be mostly about fasting, limited calories and only eating at certain times, but for many, it now means giving up candy or soda.
The Internet generation took to Twitter on Tuesday to share what they would be “giving up” for Ash Wednesday.
@RogueStockTradr wrote, “Friends, this guy just signed a pact with 4 other guys at the office for NO BOOZE ONLY for Lent. What the hell am I thinking. #PAYSWORSE.”
@ana_amy_mia is giving up one of her addictions:
“Lent starts tomorrow and I'm giving up caffeine...this should be interesting #addicted.”
@tonijeffrey is giving up two of her favorite treats, steak and cheesecake:
“I am giving up cheesecake and steak for lent. Those who know me will understand how much this is going to kill me.”
@alcharhar is going to indulge tonight before Ash Wednesday tomorrow.
“eating loads of chocolate tonight because im being a religious girl and giving it up for lent.”
But Lent isn’t really about giving up your favorite food or practicing abstinence. The traditional purpose of Lent is to prepare the believer, through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial for Holy Week.
The annual commemoration marks the death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Lent begins on As Wednesday, which is Feb. 13 this year.