One of my colleagues asked me recently if I knew what Ash Wednesday was? I know that it’s the start of Lent (and the day after Pancake Day) but I had no idea why it was actually called Ash Wednesday, so I did a little bit of research!
Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. (That’s why it’s called Ash Wednesday!) The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us. Most people associate Lent with fasting and abstaining from certain things and many believe that giving up something during Lent will purify their bodies.
It seems traditional that everyone gives up something for Lent for 40 days, and more often than not it seems to be chocolate. I remember giving up chocolate for Lent one year…. I couldn’t even last one day!
I hear every year that people will use Lent as an opportunity to cut out something that’s bad for them and lose some weight. But does it work? My guess is probably not! If, by some miracle, you can abstain from chocolate for 40 whole days, then as soon as those 40 days are over you are going to want to treat yourself. And by ‘treat yourself’ I mean stuff your face with chocolate until you feel ill!
So instead of giving up your favourite chocolate goodies for 40 days, why don’t you use Lent as an opportunity to take on the 40 day Lent Challenge. For those of you who haven’t heard about it, the Lent Challenge aims to get people to do something nice every day until Easter. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant; it can be as simple as holding the door open for someone, giving up your seat for someone on the bus or just smiling as you walk passed somebody in the street. You could even send someone a chocolate pizza or some of our delicious chocolate cupcakes!
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