I do not talk about religion but I was raised Catholic and attended religious schools and had to actively participate in all seasons, especially Lent.
I am also not really a practicing Catholic, aside from the major religious holidays as the good-old-fashioned Catholic guilt begins to reappear once again. So, I attend religious holidays during the main seasons: Easter and Christmas.
What is Lent?
Lent is part of the Easter season and it begins on Ash Wednesday. The day before Ash Wednesday has various names: Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Fettisdag. It is the last day before the beginning of Lent and it is a time of celebration, before the time of fasting and penance. So, you eat fatty foods and celebrate, getting it all out of your system. Traditionally, food containing 3 items: flour, eggs, and milk were eaten and so that they would not be wasted. This is because the early Christians did not eat these items during the Lenten season. Apparently, the eating of pancakes dates back to the 15th century.
What will I give up?
I take part in Lent every year which is essentially 40 days of fasting and it ends on Easter Sunday. However, in the Roman Catholic tradition, Sundays are not included in these 40 days. This year I have decided to give up alcohol. So, that means no wine, beer, cider, etc. It will also be difficult because I go to the pub once a week with friends and St. Patty’s day is in the middle. However, alcohol is expensive here in Sweden, so it will save my budget a little bit.
Anyway, here is a little graphic for my other Catholics here on what you can give up to save money this Lent. Just passing around that guilt, you know. However, you do not always have to give something up. At school, we were told that we could do something as well, volunteering or adding something healthy into your routine. You never know, it might stick. I gave up soda one year and I still have difficulty drinking it.