Lent was originally a fast of 36 days introduced in the 4th century, and later amended to 40 days when Carmelite monks stopped begging on a piece-work basis.

Today it is generally seen as an opportunity to give up things that are bad for you, such as putting your legs in a trouser press, reading Pride and Prejudice, buying a personalised number plate or burning rabbits for charcoal.

Until the 11th century, the iron age fort of Badbury Rings in Dorset was known as Goodbury Rings throughout March and April.  Ironically, though perhaps revealingly, Baden-Baden in Germany was given the Lenten name of Meganaffen-Meganaffen.