Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Guide to Lent: Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and Fasting

Happy Fat Tuesday everyone!  For those of you that weren't aware of this, Fat Tuesday is the day before the Lenten Season starts.

Lent is the time of year when we are supposed to prepare ourselves for Holy Week, which of course includes the celebration of Easter.  We are supposed to prepare our souls through prayer, alms giving, penitence, fasting, and self-denial.  It's a very religious time for most Christians..., guess what we do the day before all of that starts?  That's right, Fat Tuesday!  A day of pure decadence.  We're supposed to eat food high in fat, drink heavily, flash our boobs, make out with and/or fight with random strangers in the street.  It's kind of like the last chance to get some sins in before we have to behave ourselves (at least for the next 40 days or so).  For those of you that don't practice Lent, you don't know how long 40 days is when you're behavior is restricted.  I don't know about the rest of you but I usually flash my boobs at least once a week!

Anyway, a friend of mine has decided to help me with a Public Service Announcement to help you from over-indulging this Fat Tuesday:

Thanks Tuesday!  I owe you one.

Once you've made it through Fat Tuesday with some measure of decorum (You can thank me later), it is then time for Ash Wednesday.  On Ash Wednesday, as a sign of our repentance, we go to church and receive ashes on our foreheads in the sign of the cross and we leave the ashes on all day, without washing them off.  Since I attended a Catholic school through most of my childhood, this didn't really affect me a whole lot.  Everyone had dirty smudgy foreheads and everyone knew why.

That is not the case when you're out and about in the real world.  I discovered that although many people love to celebrate Fat Tuesday; Ash Wednesday is not quite as well known, nor is it as well received.  Because of this, I found it a lot easier to go to evening mass on Ash Wednesday so I didn't have to explain my dirty forehead to every person I encountered that day.

Now that I'm not as easily influenced by the opinion of others, I prefer to use Ash Wednesday as a "dirty day".  What's a "dirty day", you ask?  It's a day when I purposefully allow my face to get as dirty and smudgy as possible, without washing, rinsing or wiping away any of the residue.  That way, when I'm asked what's on my face, I have a whole array of items to choose from depending upon my mood at the time.  The effect looks similar to this:

The end result on my face wouldn't be quite as cute as it is on his face and I try to be considerate of my readers.

So, as Fat Tuesday burns out and Ash Wednesday rises, Lent has begun.  It will be a time to give up my wanton ways (at least temporarily) and it is also a time to fast.  Since I am a connoisseur of junk food, this is the hard part for me.  I am more likely to shove a burger in my mouth and then, with my mouth still full, say, "Oh wait, is this Friday?"  (Tip:  During Lent, we don't eat meat on Fridays.  Fish, but not meat.  Why do you think McDonald's came up with the Fillet O Fish?

So for me, the dilemma is, To Fast or Not To Fast.  Either way, Lent comes upon me way Too Fast and so I will try my best and hope to get through it this year with flying colors...hopefully, it goes by quickly:

It's going to be a bumpy ride, folks.  (This picture came compliments of my Hubby and one of my favorite E-friends ever, Ms. Whine.)


  1. I totally need that cross.

    I am a horrible cathloic. But Jesus loves me anyway... I just know it. :)

  2. @ Julianna...I want that cross too. I used to be a very devout Catholic but I am now just a very very lazy one.

  3. hahaha! i love that leaving your face smudgy and dirty all day idea. wouldn't it be funny to see a bunch of adults walking aroung with bits of cream cheese, maybe a poppy seed, some car dirt and perhaps some ketchup smeared around all day? that would make me laugh all day long!

  4. I am a total lapsed Catholic. I used to be an altar boy, and I always enjoyed the Ash Wednesday mass. Haven't gone to it in years though, and I haven't given up anything for lent in years either.

  5. I don't know much about Catholic but the traditions sounds interesting. I could totally go for that wedn thing though

  6. I am such a bad Catholic. Even when I was under my parents' roof and was made to abide by the rules, I'd sneak Reece Peanut Butter cups. I don't mind the not eating meat on Friday's though because it's one less thing to cook. :)

  7. thank god I am not a catholic, flashing my boobs is one of my favourite occupations! lol ;)

  8. I remember my friends having the cross in ash on their foreheads while in college...I hope the Lent passes by soon for you...

  9. I'm not Catholic, but I could certainly get behind that Fat Tuesday tradition! Nothing quite like a day of decadence and boob flashing every year! Woo!

  10. One day just isn't enough here in T&T. The Monday & Tuesday before Ash Wednesday are the days of total debauchery known as Carnival (filled with heavy drinking & making out with and/or fighting with random strangers - all the while wearing next to nothing while in the streets).

    I'm Christian but not Catholic so it's pretty business as usual for me.

  11. Wow hey! Very educational! I'm glad you posted this!!

  12. @ would be hilarious to see and would unfortunately also make me hungry.

    @ Tim...I try, I really do but in the end it turns out much like my New Years resolutions but amplified with Catholic guilt.

    @ Shopgirl...I love hearing about different traditions but like to complain about my own.

    @ less thing to cook. I don't get it. Am I supposed to cook the rest of the time? I hope my family doesn't find out about this.

    @ too! ou will just have to do some extra flashing for my sake for the next 40 days.

  13. @ cat...thanks. It's really not that bad, I just like to complain and then I feel guilty about it. Guilt is a Catholic tradition also.

    @ sentiments exactly. I think Fat Tuesday is kind of like St. Patrick's Day. If you can be Irish for a day, you can certainly be Catholic for a flash away!

    @ Vinny...I believe you can still go wild during Carnival. I expect to see pictures of you scantily dressed and flashing your boobs/pecs? next year!

    @ MMW...I live to serve.