Ash Wednesday: 10 things most people will (try) to give up for Lent

These are the most common things Twitter users try to go without for six weeks

Caroline Mortimer
Thursday 01 January 1970 01:00 BST
Chocolate is the most common thing Twitter users say they want to give up
Chocolate is the most common thing Twitter users say they want to give up

[This article was originally published in 2016]

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent - the festival where people give up a guilty pleasure for 40 days until Easter Sunday.

Lent marks the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert.

Although it is traditionally a religious holiday, many non-Christians join in around the world and try to go without one thing for approximately six weeks.

According to, a website that tracks what Twitter users say they are giving up for Lent (both serious and non-serious) some of the most popular things people want to banish are chocolate, social networks and alcohol.

The algothrim used by the website does not pick up tone, so not all the suggestions are entirely serious.

For instance, Twitter users say they want to give up the social network while using it and others sarcastically pondering whether they could drop school during the period.

The most common things being given up for Lent are:

1. Chocolate

2. Social Networking

3. Alcohol

4. Twitter

5. Facebook

6. School

7. Meat

8. Sweets

9. Coffee

10. Fizzy drinks

Certain vices like alcohol, swearing and sugary drinks nearly always feature in the list - which is compiled every year - but trends and news events do influence people's choices.

In 2013, giving up "twerking" reached 34 but had fallen out of the top 100 a year later, the International Business Times reports.

Similarly "horse meat" was a new joke entrance in 2013 but has since disappeared completely.

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