10 reasons why Irish people love Lent so much
It's awful... The absolute worst... You'll love it!
Great news everybody... Lent is back!
Forty days of clean living. Forty nights of cravings in your dreams. It sounds like unnecessary pain and that's because it is. Yet we love it all the same. In fact, some people get nostalgic about it; the feeling of an empty stomach, the anxiousness, the competitive spirit and the rush that comes from crossing another day off on the calendar.
If you're new to this, and confused as to why everyone is getting about as pumped up as a red setter freaking out with excitement over the prospect of freedom (ironically) when he sees the leash, let's go through some of the many reasons why the Irish love Lent so much.
On your marks. Set. Purge!
Clip via - Letsbepandas
1. It's like a better sequel to the New Year's Resolutions
Let's face it, you broke that New Year's Resolution. Even if you didn't, you did.
It's probably a little disheartening to know you gave up on the New Year, New You notions, but there is a chance for redemption.
The great news though is it's easier. It's hard to envisage giving something up for good, and even twelve months is hard enough, but 40 days? That's doable.
2. It's also great for keeping the kids on their best behaviour
Christmas is great when it comes to keeping younger kids on their best behaviour. What's more terrifying than being told Santa is constantly monitoring you and if he's happy you'll be rewarded.
Once that's done though, there are a few months after December when you really can't pull the Santa card. So, how on earth do you follow up that ingenious reward system?
Introducing: Lent. It's like Christmas, only with a giant rabbit.
3. Catholic guilt, because sometimes it's fun not to have fun
You don't need to be Catholic to have Catholic guilt. You don't even need to be religious. Heck, you don't need to have even been born in Ireland. All you need to do is spend some time here and you'll begin to feel bad about doing the fun things in life.
That's where Lent comes in.
4. We love to tell people how well-behaved we are
An Atheist, a vegan and a Cross-Fit dude all walk into a bar.
I know this, because they told me within a minute.
A successful Lent-er is the same. There is nothing we love more than telling people how well-behaved, how clear-headed or disciplined we are. Few people are in this for God's approval, or as part of some personal quest, which they will be keeping to themselves. I mean, to a small extent they might be, but really, the biggest kick comes from telling Ronathan that you've been off the cigarettes for 26 days now, or Ricky-bo that you're so good at quitting sugar that you can't even remember what it tastes like.
5. Passenger makes so much sense
Look me in the eye and tell me you weren't singing this as you dumped artificial sweetener tablets into your tea.
Clip via - Passenger
6. Father Ted stops being a TV show and becomes a support system
'Cigarettes, Alcohol and Rollerblading' is one of the great episodes of Father Ted. It's mainly down to the fact that it gets the competitive spirit of Lent so damn right. There are the withdrawals, the relapses and more importantly there's the blah blah blah blah blah blah distractions, don't you think so?
For forty days, Father Ted stops being a sitcom. It becomes a documentary.
Clip via - Channel 4
7. ... and now, so does Derry Girls
There's a little bit of nostalgia in Derry Girls too as we watch Clare go on a fast for poor Kemal in an unnamed African country, which is best described as "lousy". It might not be explicitly for Lent, but it hits the nail on the head.
Didn't we all have a Kemal in our lives at one point, as the Trocaire box sat up on the kitchen ledge for forty days (and then another ten years after we all neglected to send it over to the charity)?
From this day on, Derry Girls is going to be another form of relief, making Lent that bit more bearable.
8. Those attempts to sneakily cheat
Cue the Great Escape theme tune.
Clip via - Monty5364
As a kid, the process of sneakily breaking Lent was almost as challenging as keeping Lent itself. You had to be forensic in your details just to make sure nobody was wise to the Ocean's Eleven style scheme you were plotting.
For this Lenter, it was quitting the PlayStation and making sure everything looked completely untouched. That's not to say clean though. Being too clean is a recipe for disaster. You had to be creative to such an extent that for every minute of cheating, two were given over to the clean-up.
That rush though... There aren't too many thrills like that outside a high-stakes bank robbery.
9. That feeling at the end of it... if you actually made it
If you've managed to get through all forty days, there is nothing better than the great moment of relief. It's like the feeling after going to the gym when all the endorphin kicks in. Add on to that the great opening of the floodgates, as you start eating chocolate again or log back into Facebook.
You might just be going back to the unhealthy thing again, but in that moment, it's fine. You've earned it and so, you tuck in, while the ghosts of Yoda, Anakin Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi stand behind you, smiling with approval.
And yes, we're using the CGI version of the Star Wars spirits and including Hayden Christensen, because although you've done well, you're still going back to the thing you gave up. So don't feel too good about it all.
That, my friends is Catholic guilt.
10. That feeling at the end of it... if you didn't make it, but you told people that you did
You're going to be feeling bad enough inside, so you might as well just tell everyone else that you did great on the whole Lent thing.
It's important not to surround yourself with too much negativity.