Lent is the period in the Christian religion that leads up to Easter. It lasts forty days and is considered a time of reflection and sacrifice.
Christians believe that Jesus Christ went to the desert for forty days to fast and pray. During this time, the Devil appeared three times and tempted him to give up his beliefs, but Jesus said no and stayed true to his faith. After he resisted the Devil the last time, Jesus returned to his followers and traveled to a city called Jerusalem, where he could continue his preaching.
Because Jesus sacrificed so much during this time, Christians believe that a big part of Lent is giving up something you enjoy so you can know what Jesus went through. While not as dramatic as going to live in the desert, some common things to give up include chocolate or candy, shopping, or coffee or alcohol (for grown-ups only!). Some denominations also refuse to eat meat during Lent, though others will only refrain from meat on Fridays.
(by Lauren Orkus)