The Rules Can Be Confusing, But Your Palate Doesn’t Have to Suffer!
Lent is an annual rite of passage for Catholics and some other Christians worldwide. It’s celebrated by about 25% of all Americans, and if you grew up in the religion, or were around a practicing family, you’re well aware of the ins and outs of this period that comes with so many rules … but perhaps still a bit confused.
So What is Lent?
Lent is the 40 days that follow Ash Wednesday, and it’s considered a time for fasting, prayer, and contemplation. The 40 days is a time to prepare for Easter and represents the time Jesus spent in the desert, praying and resisting the temptation of the devil. Today, many celebrate this time of year by praying, going to church, and giving up something for 40 days – such as fast food, alcohol, coffee or watching television on a certain day of the week. It also comes with some rules for what you can eat, which sometimes is a bit confusing.
Rules of the Game
Fasting is a key component to lent, symbolizing the sacrifices that Jesus made during his 40 days in the desert. Typically, one square meal is suggested per day, with two smaller options allowed. And, of course, there is the abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesdays and all Fridays during Lent. But what is considered meat?
The question about “meat” is often confusing, even for the most ardent of observers. We all know of the great tradition of fish fries or fish and chips on Fridays during Lent … but isn’t fish a meat?!? Well, yes, but not of the warm-blooded variety. Thus, per Catholic Canon, fish and other cold-blooded “meats” are ok to eat on Ash Wednesday and Lent Fridays. This “other” includes reptiles (yuck), amphibians (double yuck!) and shellfish, such as shrimp, lobster, crab, mussels and oysters (ok, now we’re talking!!).
Resources To Make It Easy
Here’s several of our Nino’s online resources that will help make your food options for lent super easy: