So fasting is not something that we often associate with Paganism, its seen as more for the world-denying religions such as Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. However, I think we do have something to learn from this. As Nimue on Druid Life writes:
“For our ancestors, Shrove Tuesday was the time when you used up the last of the fat, flour and eggs, making the pancakes. That which had been stored from the previous year would tend to run out somewhere around now, while new resources would not yet be reliably available. The thin weeks that were an inevitable consequence, became Lent.”
In recent times with unemployment so high while austerity lets governments justify the harshest cuts to benefits for the poorest and most vulnerable ever undertaken, we have seen the rise of the food bank in the UK. The fact that over half a million families, including children, have to rely on these just to be able to eat is a national disgrace. The number of people going to hospital because of malnutrition in a so-called developed country has increased dramatically to over 5000.
But while we can sit here complaining all day, there are others who are trying to do something about it – the Churches. They are using this lent period to call for a national period of fasting to draw attention to the injustice and hardship faced by the poor at this time. Anyone of any religion or none can get involved and so if you are living in the UK (or if you have a similar situation in your own country), why not join in the fasting, especially the national End Hunger Fast day on April 4th? And very importantly, spread the word. If enough people get involved, maybe those in power will listen and act.
To find out more – check out this website.