Last night, as I was happily tucking into a gorgeous beef currey, my phone pinged. My mother, who has just discovered whatsapp, feels it is her duty to text updates on things I should remember- in this case “Tomorrow, lent starts- no meat”. Hence, a loud sigh and a deep breath before continuing to eat my curry.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which comes after the colourfully decadent Carnival festivities. Although many forego the stringent religious rules associated with the Lenten season, the older generation, my parents included, still hold on to the tradition as a form of sacrifice. Tradition states that on Ash Wednesday and a few other significant dates during the Lenten season, members of the Church fast and don’t eat meat and sweets of any kind.
Many others also include other sacrifices, such as, not drinking alcohol, not smoking, not eating sweets, or anything else that they would miss, as a form of sacrifice to atone for sins or hope for some grace to happen to them.
Tucking into (food)- to eagerly eat (food)
Her duty- her job
Sacrifice- to give up something of value to you
Fast- reduction of some or all food
Atone- to make amends
In honour of this calendar milestone, have a look at the following expressions to do with sacrifice.
Sacrifice someone or something for someone or something: to forfeit someone or something for the sake of someone or something. Surely you won’t sacrifice your dear wife for a silly twit like Francine! Would you sacrifice your bank account for a chance to go to Europe?
Sacrifice someone or something to someone or something: to make an offering of or give up someone or something to someone or some power. The high priest prepared to sacrifice the prisoner to the gods. I sacrificed a lot of money to a fancy lifestyle.
Sacrifice something on the altar of something: to destroy something in order to obtain something else. He sacrificed his family life on the altar of his ambition and greed.
Be sacrificed on the altar of something: to be destroyed by an activity, system or belief that is bad but more important or more powerful. Service and quality have been sacrificed on the altar of profit.
Source: McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc
Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2003. Reproduced with permission