Lent: Given something up?

February 27, 2012, 4:43 PM GMT+0

12% of Brits giving up something for Lent this year; 33% of these are giving up chocolate & sweets

Barely one week in, just over 1 in 10 Britons have said that they are giving up a luxury for Lent this year, while of those who will be taking part, chocolates and sweets are the most-sacrificed treat, our poll shows.

First, many of us were licking our lips as the pancake batter hit the pan for Shrove Tuesday, then western Christian churches held their services for Ash Wednesday. Now the time of Lent and traditional 'fasting' is well and truly upon us, and over 12% have avowed to give up something for the season.

Of the 12% giving something up this year:

  • Chocolates or sweets remain the most popular sacrifice, with 33% of people giving up something for Lent eschewing them until Easter
  • 16% have given up alcohol and/or going to the pub for Lent
  • Fatty foods in general have been put aside by 8%
  • It's recipes books at the ready for the 7% who are giving up going out to eat or ordering takeaways
  • 6% will be depriving themselves of cigarettes and smoking for Lent
  • 3% have denied themselves access to social media, and another 3% have given up caffeine
  • 2% have given up sex
  • 1% has given up television, while 1% has also vowed to stop eating meat for the forty days
  • 20% have given up 'other' luxuries not explicitly mentioned in our list

Lent is traditionally the period of 40 days leading up to Easter in which Christian worshippers undergo a time of abstinence and sacrifice, as a means to determine what is important in life.

For Christians, Lent is a test of self-discipline in which they remember the story of how Jesus went into the desert to fast and pray for 40 days and 40 nights before beginning his work for God. The story tells that during this time, Jesus was tempted several times by Satan, but was able to resist.

Though originally only a Christian scruple, Lent is now widely practiced by those who may simply wish to exercise self-restraint, shed a few kilos, or give their bodies a rest before Easter's upcoming celebrations.

See the survey details and full results