What about Lent?
Lent is one of the oldest observations on the Christian calendar and today, in our 21st century, millions of people still take Lent very seriously. The word Lent is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word Lencten, which means spring. Roman Catholic Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, March 1, and runs for 40 days, excluding Sundays, ending at sundown on the 13th of Apirl with the beginning of the mass of the Lord’s Supper. Lent is observed in a handful of Protestant denominations, namely Anglicans and Episcopalians, but the majority who practice Lent are Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Churches.
The idea of Lent is a period of time set aside for penitence, self-examination and spiritual renewal, preparing the heart for the ensuing great feast on Easter Sunday. During this time the participants are asked to give up an earthly pleasure as a sacrifice and penance to God. Unlike the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Roman Catholic Church has relaxed the historically stringent requirements of Lent. Today, one can simply give up chocolate, or coffee and feel a sense of participation.