What is the reason for Lent

Fasting in March - Lent 2019: Why is there a 40 day fast?

On March 6, 2019, Ash Wednesday heralds this year's Lent. But where does religious fasting actually come from, who is it aimed at and do participants really have to go without food for 40 days at a time? All information about Lent 2019 here.

What is Lent?

Lent prepares for the most important festival in Christianity: the resurrection of Jesus Christ, better known to many as Easter. Lent is also known as Passion time and is dedicated to repentance and conversion. The 40-day fasting period is intended to be a reminder of the equally long fasting of Jesus Christ in the desert. Christians - but also many other people - use Lent as an opportunity to consciously renounce.

There is an official fasting order of the Catholic Church, which calls for freeing oneself from things and constraints and thus creating free spaces for a stronger experience and reflection of one's own faith. Traditionally, fasting is done by avoiding food, but nowadays fasting is also practiced by avoiding many other consumer goods. This includes, for example, cigarettes, smartphones and social media.

When does Lent start in 2019?

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. In 2019 this falls on March 6th.

How long is Lent 2019?

Lent traditionally lasts 40 days, i.e. just under 6 weeks.

When does Lent end in 2019?

The Christian Lent officially ends on April 18, 2019. Maundy Thursday falls on this day, which heralds the Easter season.

Lent in Islam, Christianity, Judaism - many religions fast

Lent from March 6, 2019 is primarily aimed at Christianity, but other religions have also firmly anchored fasting in their faith as a time of conscious renunciation.

• In Islam, for example, there is the time of Ramadan when Muslims are required to fast every Monday and Thursday - Ramadan always takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar year.

• In Buddhism, monks and nuns refrain from any food intake from 12 noon every day.

• In Judaism, fasting is on Yom Kippur, among other things. In addition to this important holiday, there are five other general fasting days for Jews: Shiva Assar beTammus, Zom Gedalja, Assara beTevet and Tischa beAv.

Lent: what is allowed?

How intensively fasting is carried out depends on the individual. Devout Christians of the Catholic Church forego meat, alcohol, sweets, smoking or other enjoyments during Lent. There are also some specific guidelines that are laid down in the fasting order of the Catholic Church:

• Catholics between the ages of 21 and 60 are required to fast. Lent is not compulsory for those who cannot keep the fast because of poverty, weakness or exertion.

• During the 40-day Lent, believers should have only one full meal per day and two small refreshments. The principle of abstinence, abstinence from meat dishes, applies on all Fridays.

• Sundays within this period are not counted as part of the 40-day fasting period, although they are still often referred to as Lent Sundays.

Lent: what can you eat, what can you not eat?

Originally, the Christian Lent required the restriction to the simplest possible food without meat and without alcohol. Today this principle is still adhered to, but in addition many other worldly desires and things are dispensed with. Whether cigarettes, sweets or the Internet: It is important to consciously abstain from it, because Lent is a phase of cleansing for both the body and the soul.

Lose weight through fasting?

Fasting is now more popular than ever, but rarely for reasons of faith. Rather, fasting is used for many people to effectively lose weight or purify the body. Such a fasting period is usually not designed for 40 days, but perhaps for a few days or one to two weeks. In this case, a medical check-up is recommended to set the course - those interested can get advice on how to do it.

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