What should you give up for Lent?
Lent was traditionally a time to fast and give up eating certain foods – with participants often having one proper meal a day and one or two lighter dishes to sustain strength.
While some continue this practice, now the list is endless for what people choose to abstain from during the Lent period.
Many people cut out certain luxuries or indulgences in a bid to become healthier or to save money, but what should you choose this year?
If you are looking for some other ideas on what to give up, here are some to consider:
Facebook stalking your ex
Going to the pub
Taking taxis instead of public transport
Adding salt to meals
How to stick to your Lent fast?
The good news is, six weeks isn't that long to go without something and the time frame is a small but fixed goal.
Being held accountable is a good way to keep you sticking to your guns, so do the challenge with someone else, or get people to keep checking you haven't caved.
Tick off the days you have achieved your goals to encourage you how far you've come.
Why do we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday?
As the day before Lent, Shrove Tuesday is the perfect time to get rid of any last minute indulgences – and use up any fatty foods.
In the USA it’s known as Mardi Gras, which is French for ‘Fat Tuesday’.
On this day, people stuff themselves with fatty foods before the abstinence of Lent kicks in.
The word ‘shrove’ comes from the term ‘shrive’, meaning to free yourself from sin.
In the past, families would be encouraged to clear out their cupboards to remove the fattening foods from their houses.
They needed to come up with an easy way of getting rid of temptation by throwing away their indulgent ingredients, so threw them into one simple meal.
The tradition of eating pancakes, believed to originate from pagan rituals, allows families to use up all their eggs, butter, milk and flour all in one dish.
Some people believe that pancakes represent the four pillars of the Christian faith: eggs for creation, flour for sustenance, salt for wholesomeness and milk for purity.