Anecdotes and recipes for the Christian holiday

Lent begins on Wednesday March 2 this year, and with it a mix of different traditions leading up to Easter. The classic Christian holiday has been around longer than expected and has evolved over the literal thousands of years since its inception.

You don’t know what you have to give up this year for the 40 days of Lent? Curious to know what you can cook or order during these Meatless Fridays? Wondering where these vacations come from? We have answers to your burning questions! Find out what most Americans are abstaining from this Lent, as well as where you can get meatless cuisine and learn more about this historic holiday.

What Most Americans Give Up For Lent

Not sure what to give up for Lent this year? Your fellow Americans may have the answer.

A poll by YouGovAmerica, which asked users to check off all the vices they usually give up for Lent, found that nearly a quarter of all Americans who participate give up sweets or desserts. Another 20% chose to give up soft drinks and/or fast food and dining out. 17% voted to abstain from alcohol.

Gossip was another big pick, with 16% of votes, followed by non-essential purchases and social media. At the bottom of the list were watching TV/streaming at 11%, caffeine at 9%, and video games at 8%.

Comparatively, a second poll was conducted to ask what voters think would be the hardest vice to give up. A quarter of all voters chose to watch television, followed by caffeine with 17% of votes and desserts or sweets with 11%.

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There’s even a breakdown of this latest poll by age. It shows how, for example, nearly a fifth of all voters under 30 found giving up social media the hardest thing to give up, compared to just 8% for voters aged 30-64. . Even so, watching TV and streaming took the top spot across all ages, with a third of voters aged 65 and over saying it would be the hardest to give up for Lent.

There is a pizza for everyone.

What to cook or order for Friday

Not sure what to eat for those meatless Friday dinners? There are a lot more choices than you might think.

Check out the Taste of Home list 98 Super satisfying dinners for Lent, for starters. You can cook dishes like Fettuccine Alfredo, Ravioli with Squash Sauce, Baked Halibut and more. They even have links to all the different recipes without that multi-chapter story about where each dish came from!

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There are more than a few places you can order in your area. Pizza is often a popular choice: you have Asylum Street Pizza and Brick & Basil in Norwich, Mr. Z’s in Plainfield, 4G’s Restaurant and Pizza in Dayville, Green Onion in Lisbon, Pleasant Pizza in Willimantic and Surrell’s Pizza in Griswold.

From salmon and haddock to hake and char, Louie's Seafood Market has you covered.

Pick up some fresh homemade pasta at Paul’s Pasta in Groton, while you’re there, or head to Louie’s Seafood Market in Colchester for fresh fish. You can try veganism at the Right Path Organic Café in New London, with a mix of different sandwiches, bowls and salads to choose from.

A look at the origins of Lent and some surprising facts

Curious to know where Lent comes from? It was started in 325 AD by the First Council of Nicaea, a council of Christian bishops convened by Roman Emperor Constantine I. The 40-day event is significant for Christians for several reasons: Jesus spent 40 days in the desert, Noah spent 40 days on his ark, and Moses traveled the desert for 40 days before reaching the Promised Land.

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However, there are many more holidays, as you can find on The Fact Site website:

  • Not eating meat on Fridays came from the tradition of refraining from consuming any warm-blooded animal during the 40 days of Lent. It has been relaxed lately.
  • Since Sundays are not included in the calculation of the 40 days, Lent actually lasts 46 days.

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  • Many Christians will abstain or give up sex during Lent
  • Lent comes from the Middle English word “slow”, which simply means spring.
  • New Orleans and its Mardi Gras celebration comes from Lent: on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, when Christians are supposed to fast, people party in the streets and eat all sorts of different foods in a celebration of “Mardi Gras”.

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