Fasting as a way to regain or refocus spirituality is common in many religions. Fasting has played a key role in many of the world’s major religions (apart from Zoroastrianism—a Western religion–which prohibits it), being associated with penitence and other forms of self-control. Christians traditionally observe Lent, which began yesterday, Ash Wednesday (February 26) and ends on Holy Thursday (April 9). Although Lent is most commonly observed within the Roman Catholic Church, there are different denominations that choose to honour it in their own way even though they may not necessarily call it Lent. Catholic News gives insight on how other religions of the world practice fasting and why they do it.
Catholic- Christian fasting: a spiritual feast
The Roman Catholic Church has a long tradition of fasting for Lent with specific regulations for its members covering Lenten fasting. Not only do Catholics fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, but they also abstain from meat on those days and all the Fridays during the 40-day Lenten period. Fasting does not mean complete denial of food, however. Most Catholics choose to voluntarily fast from something for all of Lent — dessert, alcohol, coffee, or some other luxury. Most often it is a food, though these days many choose to fast from Netflix or Facebook.