WHAT IS LENT?
Lent is a period in the Christian Liturgical year in which (certain) Christians prepare the commemoration of the Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The preparation includes prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It’s pretty much the same as Ramadan for the Islamic Religion, except that we abstain from meat and meat products on Ash Wednesday, every Fridays during the period, and on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday during Holy Week. We also abstain from one of our usual habits (for some reason, it’s usually a type of favorite food that we like to eat to one of our everyday habits, like playing videogames, shopping and going to the mall, and all that). Depending on the Christian sect (Catholic, Orthodox, etc.), the Lent period usually lasts for forty days and forty nights.
Before Ash Wednesday, there are some nations where they have a huge celebration of going “all out” on Tuesday, such as Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, Carnival in South America, and Pancake Day in the UK, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. They do this because they know it would be their last day of “going all out” before they abstain in to excessive habits the next day.
More on Lent here: Wikipedia – Lent
For the Year 2010, I will be abstaining from…
- Soda & Carbonated Drinks – actually I started early with this when I attempted to get myself addicted to drinking hot tea. Lots of hot tea, and I’m not just talking about Nestea or Lipton tea, I’m talking about the exotic types of tea, like Genmai-cha, Rooibos, Honeybush, and Kombucha. Though it’s pretty safe for me to drink diet sodas due to the low or no sugar content, for Lent, I’m completely giving up soda until Easter.
- Chocolate – I have a weakness for chocolate, especially the exotic ones like spiced chocolate and imported chocolates from Switzerland. I’m also abstaining from drinking hot chocolate as well. I’m sticking to hot tea.
- Swearing – Though I don’t swear frequently, there are times when I get really upset at something or simply just had things not going my way that I do end up swearing in silence and to myself without even realizing it. As my attempted triumph over myself, I need to watch what I say (or write even during online IMs and Twitter and what not) or I’ll be getting my ass kicked by my own unnecessary habits.
One time I gave up rice for the entire Lent period several years ago when I was in college and my entire family and several of my close Asian friends thought I’ve gone insane. I ended up eating bread all the way for my staple dish, but with majority of the family (Filipino) dishes that we usually have for dinner makes it harder for me to eat that particular dish with bread. I mean, Kare-Kare and bread? Ukoy and bread? Sinigang and bread? What was I thinking? Though I did triumph by not eating rice for 40 days and 40 nights, I vowed to myself never to give up rice on Lent again.
There was even a time when my father vowed he would give up the internet for Lent. The problem was that he didn’t realize that a lot of the newest forms of communication and documentation storage on his workplace involved the Internet. Because of that he had his executive assistant do all the work for him so he didn’t have to use the internet for Lent. After the Lenten period, he knew he made a mistake for giving that up and vowed never to abstain from the internet again.
Menu for Ash Wednesday:
Breakfast: Peanut Butter, margarine, and honey sandwich and a cop of Rooibos Tea.
Lunch: Catch of the Day Lunch Special at our company’s cafeteria. It’s baked snapper fillet with vegetarian yakisoba (buckwheat noodles) and lemongrass rice. I even have a small cup of Tomato & Basil Bisque soup too. Totally meatless, but fish and seafood are acceptable to eat.
Dinner: no idea. There was a time when my parents forgot that it was Ash Wednesday a few years ago and we had Nilagang Baboy and rice for dinner. The strange thing too was that I just got home frmo Ash Wednesday mass when dinner was served. Go figure.
Many say that Lent may be a good start towards healthy eating habits, especially for those who are obsessed with dieting. Lately there’s this new term that I kept seeing in our office cafeteria with posters saying Be a FLEXITARIAN! What the heck is a “flexitarian”? Well, a “flexitarian” is a person who gives up eating meat (poultry and meat products like beef, pork, lamb, etc.) once a week. When I first learned the definition of it, the first thing that came to my mind was “Eh? Lent Season all year long?” :neutral:
Twenty more minutes till I head home, so I’ll halt my entry here.