What Is Lent—Are You Giving Up Something For 2012 Lent?

What is Lent, and what's it got to do with Josh Hartnett? His movie, 40 Days and 40 Nights

Could you imagine giving up someone this hot? | Source: 1Zoom.ru

You’re probably hearing a lot of talk about people giving stuff up for Lent right about now. What is Lent and why are so many people sacrificing Gossip Girl and chocolate? Here’s the lowdown.

As you probably know, Christians believe that Jesus died for their sins, then rose from the dead into Heaven. The day he rose from the dead is Easter, and Lent happens during the 40 days before that.

During that time, a lot of Christians sacrifice something in preparation for Jesus’s rising as a form of repentance. (Something else you may be hearing a lot about now, Fat Tuesday–or Mardi Gras, is celebrated as a sort of “last hurrah” before giving up a lot of creature comforts for Lent. Check out more on Mardi Gras here!)

Chocolate, Lent

Uh oh! Looks like someone didn

The idea of Lent is to give something up that you routinely enjoy (so giving up algebra homework or spinach doesn’t really count). Chocolate is usually a biggie around this time of year — which is a toughie, because it’s also Cadbury egg season! Soda, French fries, meat (especially on Fridays), gossip rags, and your favorite shows (so long for now, Jersey Shore!) are popular sacrifices as well. Recently, a lot of girls have started giving up texting, tweeting, and Facebook for Lent, too. You might also remember a certain movie called 40 Days and 40 NightsJosh Hartnett gave up sex!

Texting, Lent

We think this may be the toughest thing to give up! | Source: togetpregnant.info

Why does Lent last 40 days and 40 nights? There are quite a few Biblical references to 40-day periods: remember Noah’s ark and all that rain? That lasted 40 days and 40 nights. It’s also believed that the Hebrews marched through the desert for 40 years, that Moses spent 40 days on Mt. Sinai, and that Jesus fasted for 40 days while being tempted by the devil. It’s also believed that when Jesus died on Good Friday (also known as the Passion of the Christ), he spent 40 hours in his tomb before rising on Easter Sunday.

French fries, Lent

Giving these up is easier when they don

Lent starts tomorrow, Ash Wednesday (you’ll probably see some people with black smudges on their foreheads!) and will last until Easter on April 8.

If you observe the holiday, what is Lent to you? What are you giving up for 2012 Lent? What would be the hardest thing to let go of for 40 days? Let us know in the comments!


Oh, And Tell Us If Differences In Religion Bother You. We Wanna Know!

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  • Jeff

    Just to clear it up for future reference…. not all Baptists (or Southern Baptists for that matter) frown upon Lent. Many of us participate every year in Lent, Advent and many of the other Christian Church holidays. They are just as important to us as they are to Catholics and other Christian traditions who participate.

    Just because you’re Southern Baptist does not mean you can’t participate and not all Protestant (or Southern Baptist) Christians “frown” upon Lent- it is a very fitting way to prepare for the events of Easter and to connect with Christ.

    Welcome to the Lenten season again everyone.


  • Kadee

    Just to clear this up for future reference, it isnt the christian belief as a whole that observes lent. certain branches of christianity partake in it, but as a southern baptist, it is something that is frowned upon throughout the church. we clebrate the coming of easter and the rising of christ iin different ways 🙂 (not trying to be rude i was just letting you know what i do)

  • Ash

    Lent isn’t only about giving up stuff fyi.. It’s either you do more of something you don’t normally do or you give up something.. I’m catholic and have done lent since i was little.. When I was younger it was silly things that were given up like soda and chocolate.. as I grow older though, I chose to both give up something and to do more.. This year i gave up swearing because it got to the point where I never thought twice about when I’d say a bad word.. I also did what I called “Hail Mary crunches” where I would say the Hail Mary and for every word in it, I would do one crunch.. I also made a list of 40 people I’d like to pray for during lent and I prayed for them for the 40 days and 40 nights of lent.

    so as you see.. lent isn’t about simply “giving up” but merely doing something more then what you normally do.. for the betterment of both you and your religious life.

  • josie

    ever since i was 11 i gave up chocolate 4 lent….its hard but fun cuz im a HUGE chocoholic

  • Laila Jammy

    i gave up tumblr facebook and twitter, all candy and all chocolates… i LOVE jesus, and i wanted to suffer as much as possible.

  • eveline meralus

    i’m going to stop having sex with my boyfriend for lent

  • kaitlynmaire

    im not catholic but my church still does lent , weird right? i decied its good to do lent anyway because if jesus gave up his life for me why cant i give up somthing so i decied to give up icecrea cake amd stuff like that and my birthdays coming up so that will be a great challenge!!

  • Diana

    I gave up Christianity for Lent a few years ago and have never felt better. Blessed Be )0(

    • Bruna

      My husband and I just dieedcd that we would give up TV and the computer at home. Of course he has a tv at work and we both have computers at work too. I think it will be interesting to see what happens. I’m an internet junkie and he is addicted to all sports. Can’t do diet soda yet. Just don’t take my one love away 😉 Maybe next year.

  • Brianna

    This year I have given up eating after eight. It’s something I like to do and I think it’s a good challenge . Last year I did facebook. It actually wasn’t that hard.

    However I think you guys should know (and I have to remind myself too) that lent isn’t about what you can get out of it like eating junk food to lose weight. That’s not lent, that is a resolution. You sacrifice something you like to show God he is pre important and worth the sacrifice. Hopefully giving that thing up will bring you closer to God anymore reliant on him. Anyways, happy sacrificial lent.

  • Katie

    I agree. If Jesus died for me then I can give up crap food for forty days. Starting a tad late of course…

  • Lisa

    The hardest thing for me is giving up sex for 40 days and 40 nights.

  • Bobbie

    I’ve given up soda (and didn’t lose a lb!) and eating Asian food with a fork (that was fun!) before for lent, this year I’m going to work to become a better bass player by playing every single day.

  • Ashley

    I think the hardest thing for me to give up for lent would be caffeine and/or alcohol. I’m going to give it a shot. Nothing but water til Easter!!

  • Maya

    I am not giving anything up because my parents say that if you can’t think of a sacrific, do a good deed. i want to do something to be helpful to my grandparents like cook more meals or something like that

  • Ty

    i admit, i am not the best catholic. but i figure if jesus could die for me, then i could give up something i enjoy for 40 some days.
    this year i’m giving up soda, candy, and the cursing. and maybe i’ll lose a couple of pounds by cutting out junk and eating better 🙂 that’d be okay too.
    (by the way, sundays don’t count. so you can technically get away with having a snickers bar or a little bit of soda on a sunday if you want to.) but i’m gonna stick with it all the way

    • sthela

      Actually if you’re going to give up something for lent u need to stick with it the whole way through because Jesus didn’t get to cheat on Sundays when he was out in the dessert so I’m sorry but I don’t agree with u. That’s why its penance. Have a blessed Lent

      • David

        If you count the days from Ash Wednesday to Easter, and realize that lent is 40 days long, then you’ll understand why Lent does not include Sundays. It’s not “cheating” on Sundays.

  • Mary

    I have no clue yet O.o any ideas ladies???

  • Chantelle

    I’m going to try and stop being so lazy for lent.

  • Andrea

    I am giving up soda for Lent I am a religious soda drinker…and I give it up every year it is tough but it is worth it!