Just like advent is the lead up to Christmas so Lent is the lead up to Easter. Just as you send out invitations, blow up balloons and bake cakes before a party so you spend some time during the run up to these major Christian festivals preparing for them.
Put simply, Jesus spent 40 days in the desert, going without food (fasting), to prepare him for the start of his work (ministry). The 40 days reminds us of that. It used to be a time when Christians would do without things, but nowadays many Christians try to do something extra. Its preparation for Holy Week and Easter.
my dd2 has become very interested in christianity reently,despite us believing ,we are not church goers and i have no idea how to explain lent.she sees it as a time we give up something<she has decided wants to give up chocolate>but i cannot explain to her why this happens.i hae tried wikipedia but the explaination is too complicated for her to understand i hope someone can help me or signpost me somewhere that can Thank you