SLIDESHOW: Most popular things to give up for Lent

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Updated: Feb. 12, 2018 at 10:50 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a season where some religious people give up something for a 40 day period.

According to, Lent as a 40-day season developed in the fourth century from three merging sources.

"The first was the ancient paschal fast that began as a two-day observance before Easter but was gradually lengthened to 40 days. The second was the catechumenate as a process of preparation for Baptism, including an intense period of preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation to be celebrated at Easter. The third was the Order of Penitents, which was modeled on the catechumenate and sought a second conversion for those who had fallen back into serious sin after Baptism. As the catechumens (candidates for Baptism) entered their final period of preparation for Baptism, the penitents and the rest of the community accompanied them on their journey and prepared to renew their baptismal vows at Easter," According to

During the Lenten season, many Christians commit to fasting, or "giving up" certain luxuries in order to replicate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ's journey into the desert for 40 days, according to Wikipedia.

These luxuries range from cutting off social media browsing, to giving up certain foods like chocolate or alcohol.

Lent by the numbers: 

According to, three in 10 Americans with evangelical beliefs (28%) say they observe Lent; of these, 42 percent typically fast from a favorite food or beverage while 71 percent typically attend church services.

Catholics remain the most likely to observe Lent (61%), with 2 out of 3 fasting from a favorite food or beverage (64%), according to the report.

The article said most American observers fast from a favorite food or beverage (57%) vs. a bad habit (35%) or a favorite activity (23%).

Click through our slideshow to see what the most popular things to give up for Lent are in 2018, according to Twitter's Lent tracker. 

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