The idea of relaxation of the mind is often taken into consideration. People take yoga classes, walk, exercise, and meditate but seldom it is realized that the soul and the body also require purification once in a while to cleanse the thoughts and to boost the healthy body mechanism. And what better incentive could there be to cleanse your body other than during the days of Lent?
Lent is a centuries old Christian tradition of penance and fasting taking its influence from the traditions of Moses and Elias. The literal meaning of the word "Lent" which has been derived from Old English is "spring time". In Latin the name for lent is Quadragesima which means forty days. Lent lasts forty days, from Ash Wednesday to the Vespers of Holy Saturday, excluding the six Sundays. The number forty has a biblical significance; it refers to the forty days that Christ spent in the desert. The origin of the lent goes back to the 4th century, when a forty days fasting period before the Easter was fixed. The last two weeks of Lent are known as "Passiontide," made up of Passion Week and Holy Week. The last three days of Holy Week -- Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are known as the "Sacred Triduum."
What to Eat
Lent has evolved with time. In the middle ages the fasting was performed very strictly. Only three pieces of bread and three sips of water were allowed. At the end of the 15th century the pope allowed people to consume cheese, milk and curd along with bread. The present fasting and abstinence laws are very simple. On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, abstinence from meat is observed and only one full meal is taken during a day along with few snacks to keep strong. The abstinence of meat is also observed on other Fridays of lent.Salt and freshwater, tea, species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish can also be consumed, as well as dairy products such as butter, cheese, milk and other animal derived products such as gelatin and eggs. Today the fasts are no longer strict and are not so religiously practised but the essence of the tradition is still practised.
The Spirit of the Season
The focuses of this Christian tradition are penance, contemplation, prayer, sacrifice and charity. It is a time to think and rethink of our deeds and our responsibilities towards others and towards ourselves. The whole time of lent ideally should be spent in giving charity to those in need , to plan good deeds for the future and to eat healthy by abstaining oneself from alcohol and drugs such as nicotine.
Lent also emphasizes on eating healthy which means consumption of high amounts of fruits and vegetables and avoiding meaty stuff as much as possible. The whole idea of eating healthy is to give the body a little break and provide it with fresh minerals and vitamins. Take a look at at our easy recipes to prepare healthy dishes and share it with your family, neighbours and friends. Let the charity begin!