I came across this today, which is still for another moment or so, Mardi Gras. I was looking for something completely different and happened to see a few brief sentences on the subject by the great Anatoly Liberman. You can see his whole article HERE.
I know, I know. Lent--what a drag, huh? Privation, fasting, penance--the works. Well, actually, no. As Liberman tells us, although the only sense of the word that remains with us currently is the well known ecclesiastical one, originally Lent's main sense was simply "Spring". Lent is actually related to the word "lengthen". So the period we're about to enter is just the one where the days lencten, lengten--lengthen.
So celebrate the returning sunlight, Northern Hemisphereans. Even if winter still seems to be holding its own in your neighborhood.