40 days of abstinence begins for Christians
Watching movies, shopping for gadgets, eating meat and partying – these are some of the many pleasures that Christians in the city plan to abstain from for the next 40 days.
The holy season of Lent began on Wednesday and will end with Easter on April 24. As a mark of respect for Jesus’ crucifixion, Christians devote these days to abstinence from the things and habits that they love the most.
“I love shopping for gadgets and usually do not keeping an account of how much I spend, so this Lent I have made it my resolution to curtail my shopping expenses,” said Ronald Francis, 28, an HR professional who plans to keep his hands off his Play Station 3 for 40 days. “Since giving is also an important part of Lent, I will donate the money I save to charity.”
Meat and alcohol are the most common things sacrificed by Christians every year, but for Colaba resident Kevin Braganza, this Lent will mark his first serious attempt at abstinence from non-vegetarian food.
“I usually give up chocolates, but this time I want to make a special effort and give up meat,” said the 27-year-old. Braganza will also give up his favourite social activities — watching movies and clubbing with friends.
According to marketing executive Stephany Fernandes, Lent is about sacrificing a different vice every year. “If you abstain from the same thing repeatedly, your body gets habituated to a new pattern. But the idea is to put in a conscious effort to give up things you like,” said the 29-year-old Mahim resident.
Others, however, believe it is human to slip back into old habits, and Lent serves as a good annual reminder.
“I will try to control my anger and be nice to those I don’t feel like being nice to,” said Malad resident Walter Murzello, 62, who believes kindness is the best offering to Jesus during Lent.