Although winter’s grip still has it’s clutches on the prairies, there is an optimism that spring is just around the corner when March arrives. Melting snow is a testament to the increasing warmth of the sun as every kid eagerly pulls out their rubber boots and takes the long route to and from school to crunch the thin crusts of ice that glaze the pooling moisture. Whether March comes in like a lion or a lamb, March is full of optimism recognizing that the dormant season of winter is on its way out and the approaching spring is now brimming with the hope of new life and growth.
So it is for many, the most holy and anticipated religious holiday of the year is in view, Easter. Precluding the holiday is the 40 day Lent season and this year it begins on March 9th and ends on the 23rd of April, the day before Easter. For the religious and the not so, the lent season is a great time for soul-searching and a 40 day period of reflection. It’s a time of discipline where many remove a pleasure from their lives for the 40 days, fasting as a sign of sacrifice.
One thing I found extremely interesting was that Mardi Gras or Carnival is a three day period preceding the beginning of Lent before Ash Weds (1st day of the Lenten season). The Tuesday just before Ash Wednesday is called Shrove Tuesday, or more popularly known by the French as Mardi Gras, meaning ‘Fat Tuesday’ contrasting to the fasting of Lent. It is a period of celebration, a festival before Lent.
So this is the way I see it. Pull out your rubber boots and rain jacket, call some friends over and enjoy some feasting and fun, have a parade, but keep in mind that for the following 40 days after, there will be a lot of introspection and disciplined living. By Easter you’ll be ready for another celebration.
Whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord!