Q. 1. What does "Lent" mean? What does it represent?
A. 1. To answer your first question, the word "Lent" originates from the Old English word "lencten" which means "lenghten." This is a reference to the lenthening of the daylight hours that occurs in the northern hemisphere as spring approaches.
To answer your second question, "Lent" is a period of 40 weekdays (excluding Sundays) liturgical season that precedes Easter, when the Catholic faithful fast, abstain from certain foods or meat, and do penance. Lent initiates the most sacred part of the Catholic Liturgical Year.
Sundays are excluded from the 40 day Lenten Season because every Sunday is a joyful celebration of the Lord's glorious Resurrection.