Lent can be a good time to restart New Year resolutions

February 13th 2018
By: Melanie
Lent can be a good time to restart New Year resolutions

So many people start the year with a whole load of dietary and other resolutions that are often abandoned by the beginning of February. Many of us celebrate Pancake Day but what is it all about?  Why are we using up fat and sugar to make pancakes?

Shrove Tuesday Shrove is derived from the Old English word “Shrive”, which means “absolve” and was traditionally the last day to use up sweet fatty treats before Lent. After Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday begins the Catholic season of Lent. Lent is traditionally a time of "giving up" things and eating fish on Fridays.

There are a few interesting exceptions to the no meat on Friday rule, however; in the late 1600's, a group of monks in France classified a Puffin as a fish, as its “natural habitat was as much terrestrial as aquatic,” allowing it to be eaten on Fridays. Some of the Irish heritage get special dispensation to eat meat on one Friday during Lent if St Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday.

Technically Lent lasts for 46 days, from Ash Wednesday to the Saturday before Easter Sunday. But Sunday is not usually included in this period of fasting or abstinence by many Catholic communities. The 40 days of Lent is generally seen as marking the time Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness.

The ritual of Ash Wednesday and the ensuing period of Lent is often used by people outside of the religion as an opportunity to give up a single indulgence such as chocolate or alcohol for the period of time. If you want to abstain from chocolate or alcohol for 40 days lent is not a bad time to abstain. It will help you feel fully refreshed and ready to enjoy a chocolatey St Albans or Harpenden Easter.