Are you ready for Lent? 40-day religious period begins this week

Ana Gonzalez, Editor-in-Chief

Happy Mardi Gras! Crawfish, King Cake, Gumbo, all that good stuff…and not to mention the parties and the loads of beads to wear.

But if you are religious, it also means one thing: time to give up something for Lent.

Lent, the 40-day, six-week period that starts from Ash Wednesday and leads into Easter Sunday, is quickly creeping in. It’s like deciding on a New Year’s Resolution all over again, but actually sticking to it for 40 days.

Rev. Scott Ciosek offers a prayer and ashes to Barry Starr and his wife Nancy Starr, along with any other motorists who drive up in the parking lot of the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on County Street, Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in New Bedford, Mass., as part of the church’s ashes to go program on Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and a time for many Christians to fast and reflect ahead of Easter. (Peter Pereira/Standard Times via AP)

Many people I’ve known would give up fast food, coffee, candy, and junk food…all that easy stuff; which is where “Fat Tuesday” comes into play. In modern times, I’ve known people have given up technology, like social media or even the Internet altogether.

Like a small percentage of individuals, I decided to give up on soft drinks this year. I wanted to encourage myself to drink more water with my meals.

According to my mother, who likes to treat Lent as a second Christmas, she would usually give up something crazy every year. One time, she gave up meat for the whole Lent period. Traditionally, in my family, we were barred from eating any meat on Fridays during Lent, and that included Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

For many of us, it’s a great time to stock up on fish and seafood. Many grocery stores will be having sales on crawfish, shrimp, and many types of fish. Restaurants are also expanding their menus to make it Lent-friendly. Recently, Chick-Fil-A added three types of fish sandwiches to their menu for a limited time.

This year, according to a poll on KHOU 11, over 50 percent of people will give up candy, chocolate, or any type of sweets for lent. Others plan to give up alcohol, fast food, or soft drinks. Technology-wise, about 8 percent of people will give up social media for lent.

So, if you are now entering day 1 of Lent, good luck with all you do; especially if you have decided to give up on social media. I have no idea how you would go through 40 days without Facebook or Instagram!