It either might serve you as a reminder of your faith or to share some valuable quality time with your family around the breakfast table eating tons of cake.
But what about the period before? What about the 40 days from the season of carnival up to the enjoyable Easter traditions? Many Christians around the world experience exactly that time of year as lent season which in broad terms depicts the time of fasting and preparation for the holy feast of Easter.
However it does not mean you have to be strictly Catholic in order to experience the lent. Yet one might wonder: why should I put myself through that kind of trouble? Intelligible question. Yet giving up something you like, something you appreciate and hardly can restrain from is a task of self-examination. And by that I do not mean it is only applicable for the control freaks among us. No, doing the lent can show quite plainly the extraordinary will strength one can have, the ability of withstanding a temptation and the belief in your own self-discipline many might have already forgotten in their daily occupations.
Taking that into account fasting actually can mean anything. The relinquishing of your favorite food, of smoking and snoozing, drinking red wine or coffee or even skipping your evening TV show for 40 days.
It is an individual choice and a very lonesome struggle which yet does not have to be performed so solemnly. The whole point is not enduring an unbearable burden, the laudable suffering at the dinner table moaning trough meat loaf and ice cream while driving every one else crazy. It is a simple personal choice, an experiment with your own little consciousness, a modern form of purification and in its undoubted oddness an interesting amusement and distraction from daily life. And promise – the first Easter chocolate will never taste as good.
This article was first published in The Nordic Page on 3 April 2012