Cajun people love Lent, the 40 days of repentance and fasting that lead up to Easter. More specifically, Cajun Catholics love lent, but since the majority of Cajuns are Catholic, I’ll use the two interchangeably. Forty days may sound like a lot of sacrifice, but after the pure debauchery of Mardis Gras kicks off the Lenten season, Cajuns actually need 40 days of repentance and fasting, and there’s nothing Cajun people love more than asking each other “What did you give up?”. Mostly we give up small things like chocolate, candy, or swearing, but some crafty Cajuns build loopholes right into their penance like “I gave up all candy but chocolate.”
Each Friday during Lent, Catholics are asked to give up meat, and only eat seafood. This is the equivalent of asking a child to skip dinner and only eat dessert. Sure, we may put on a pained expression, but how miserable can a Cajun be when he’s shoving seafood gumbo or crawfish etoufee down his gullet?
Sure, the whole Jesus-dying-on-a-cross thing might be a downer, but everything else about Lent is all good.