Lent is the 40 days before Easter, and began on Ash Wednesday. When the 40 days are counted, it does not include Sundays, because Sundays commemorate the Resurrection.
This year Lent begins on Wednesday 18 February and ends on Saturday 4 April, the day before Easter Sunday.
The word Lent is not mentioned in the Bible, and it dates from A.D. 325. The 40 days are to remind us that in the Bible we are told Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness.
Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the river Jordan – and just after that, we read that he was led into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. See Matthew chapter 4: 1, 2 and Mark chapter 1: 12, 13 and Luke chapter 4:1,2
The word Lent is associated with spring – the word Lent, comes from an old English word meaning, “lengthening” - the season of the year, when the days begin to lengthen. In this way it points to new beginnings.
In the past, Lent was often associated with doom and gloom and strict discipline.
But some people give up something for Lent, because originally it was a time of fasting. During the early days of the church, only one meal was allowed, and meat and fish were forbidden.
The people at that time, understood fasting as meaning no food from sunrise to sunset, but before that and after that, normal food could be eaten.
Nowadays those who keep Lent, may give us chocolate, for example or alcohol.
One good way would be to go out for a walk every day, or, do add something – for example, write a letter/email, make a phone call, or visit someone who was not well.