Lent: Catholic Culture Versus Pop Culture
By: Rebecca Waddle
Lent lasts for 40 days and is used to portray what was once Catholic beginnings into what pop culture has made it out to be. Also, Lent comes from an Anglo-Saxon term: Lencten-meaning Spring.
In Catholic Culture lent starts on Ash Wednesday and goes until Easter (more on the days of lent later). Lent is done to let true, dedicated Christians imitate Jesus Christ’s last 40 days of fasting when he was stranded in the wilderness. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is a festival time before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is celebrated by both Catholics and non-Catholics. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the fasting and prayer, and it serves as a penance. During Ash Wednesday, the priest draws a cross on the person's forehead in ash and says: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return." Next, toward the end of Lent, Holy Thursday is when people celebrate the passover and share Jesus’ symbolic body and blood. Good Friday follows Holy Thursday. Good Friday is the end of Lent. Good Friday represents the death of Jesus, but he rises again on Easter Sunday.
In Pop Culture Lent is more of a cleansing activity, where people can challenge themselves to give up something they are addicted to. Some people may give up smoking, drinking, chewing gum, drinking soda, etc. Also, the pop culture side of Lent still participates in Fat Tuesday, which is Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday is used on both sides as a reason to pig out one last time and rid your pantry and fridge of what you are giving up (basically unhealthy foods).