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Lent

Rosaries are sold by a vendor in Mexico City on Sept. 22, 2017. AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images

At Lent, Catholics Reflect On Faith As Sex Abuse Scandal Shakes The Church

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Sebastiano Ridolfi tries on the costume of Papà del Gnoco, or "Gnocchi Dad," the Santa-esque figure who's the symbol of the gnocchi-themed pre-Lent celebration in Verona, Italy. Although Ridolfi didn't win the election to be Papà del Gnoco, he was received warmly by the crowd and remains committed to challenging traditions. Andrea Di Martino hide caption

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Andrea Di Martino

While much of the world gorges on pancakes for Fat Tuesday, the semla is the go-to delicacy of the North, traditionally devoured just before Lent. It takes various forms (and names) throughout Scandinavia. AYImages/Getty Images hide caption

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AYImages/Getty Images

Fanesca is made with grains and vegetables, and includes toppings such as peanuts, fried plantains, hard-boiled eggs and mini empanadas. Amy Robertson for NPR hide caption

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Amy Robertson for NPR

Steve Pound, MP, pictured at the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race 2017. Pancake races are a Shrove Tuesday tradition in England dating back centuries. Oliver Dixon / Imagewise hide caption

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Oliver Dixon / Imagewise

The British Celebrate Pancake Day With Sweet Races

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Beaver barbecue at Bootleggin' BBQ in St. Louis, Mo. Though many Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent, in some parts of the country, water-dwelling mammals have long been considered fair game. Alan Greenblatt for NPR hide caption

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Alan Greenblatt for NPR

Tastes like chicken, but it's OK for Lent: Fried alligator, as served at New Orleans' Cochon restaurant. Chris Granger/Courtesy of Cochon hide caption

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Chris Granger/Courtesy of Cochon

Forget Fish Fridays: In Louisiana, Gator Is On The Lenten Menu

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A young parishioner carries plates filled with fried fish and potatoes to a table during a Lenten Friday fish fry at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in Littleton, Colo., in 2009. David Zalubowski/AP hide caption

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David Zalubowski/AP

A man dressed as a skomorokh, a medieval East Slavic harlequin, distributes bliny in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the last day of Maslenitsa, March 1, 2009. Dmitry Lovetsky/AP hide caption

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Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

Maslenitsa Celebration Helps Russians Thaw From Winter

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