Today begins the Christmas fast: What you should eat for the next 40 days

Photo: Profimedia

For Orthodox Christian believers who follow the Julian calendar the six-week Christmas fast begins today.

The fast will last 40 days, that is, until Christmas, January 7, the day of the birth of Jesus Christ. Since the date of Christmas does not change, Lent begins on November 28, and ends at Christmas Eve, January 6.

Christian fasting is introduced after the example of Jesus Christ, who spent 40 days in the wilderness in fasting and prayer. Fasting is a spiritual and physical preparation of man to enter the secret of the upcoming holiday.

The Christmas fast is the second longest, right after the Easter fast.

In the Orthodox Church, it is a practice during the Christmas fast for the believers to confess and, if possible, to receive communion in order to be as worthy as possible in the preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ - Christmas. The purpose of fasting is to "cleanse" the spirit and the body, which is achieved not only by abstaining from fatty food, but also from bad thoughts, words and deeds. During the Christmas fast, all festive tables are also fasted.

The Canon of the Orthodox Church provides for one-day and several-day fasts.

One-day fasts are on Wednesdays and Fridays, Epiphany on January 18, Beheading of St. John the Baptist on September 11, and Epiphany on September 27.

They are multi-day fasts the Easter, St. Peter's Day, Virgin Mary and Christmas fasts.

People who consistently follow the rules fast every Wednesday and Friday, because these are the days when Christ was condemned and died on the cross.

The Christmas fast, like other multi-day fasts, dates back to the first centuries of Christianity and is mentioned in the works of the holy fathers of the 4th and 5th centuries.

Initially, fasting lasted seven days, and the decision for Christians to fast for 40 days before the feast - the Nativity of Christ - was made at the Council in 1166.

The duration of the Christmas fast is also explained by the forty-day journey of the three sages to the Cave of Bethlehem, in which the baby Jesus was born on December 25. That is why it is said that fasting is a guiding star for all who have chosen Christianity as their faith, just as for the sages who believed in the prophecy of the Savior's birth, the only guide was the brightest star in the sky, moving from west to east and leading them to Bethlehem.

These fasts were instituted in honor of the holy apostles of the Lord and in honor of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. They fast like this: on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays no oil or wine is eaten; oil and wine are allowed on Thursdays and Tuesdays, and oil, wine and fish on Saturdays and Sundays. If a holiday falls on a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, oil, wine and fish are allowed. If a holiday of a lesser saint falls on Wednesday and Friday, oil and wine are allowed. If it is a big holiday on Wednesdays and Fridays, in addition to oil, fish is also allowed. If a day of church glory falls on Wednesday and Friday, oil, wine and fish are allowed, writes

Meat, milk and dairy products and eggs are not eaten during this whole post. Oil and wine are allowed on all days except Wednesdays and Fridays, which are fasted "on the water". Fish is eaten every Saturday and Sunday, as well as on the Introduction of the Most Holy Mother of God.

The last week of Christmas fasting is fasted more strictly. On Christmas Eve, neither oil nor wine is used, but fasting "on water".

Given that fasting excludes the consumption of meat and dairy and animal products, which in our area are the most common source of protein, but also of other key nutrients, we must not spend the next 40 days on potatoes and bread with jam, but let's make sure that the body continues to receive the necessary vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Pay special attention to the intake of vitamins D, B12 and C.

Foods that are rich in fiber: chia seeds, avocados, apples, almonds, flax seeds, lentils, beans, artichokes, bananas...

Foods that are rich in minerals: rice, spinach, zucchini, legumes, parsnips, fish, corn, potatoes, broccoli, kale...

- Sweet pepper is a source of 4 of 14 essential vitamins. This applies to vitamins A and C, beta-carotene and lycopene.
Walnuts are a source of 4 of the 14 essential vitamins. These include: B1, B2, B6 and E. Try to take 1-2 handfuls a day. Almonds are also a good choice.
- Mushrooms are a source of 4 of 14 essential vitamins: B2, B3, B5 and D. Mushrooms are very nutritious and low in carbohydrates and calories.
Broccoli is a good source of 6 of the 14 essential vitamins. These include vitamins A, B9, C, E, K and beta-carotene.
- Fish is a good source of 9 of the 14 essential vitamins. These include vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, D and E. Tuna and trout provide the most vitamins, but be sure to eat a wide variety of fish for a healthy diet.
Dark green leaves are a good source of 8 of the 14 essential vitamins. These include vitamins A, B2, B3, B6, B9, C, E, K and beta-carotene. The best sources are spinach and kale.

For the beginning of the day, prepare a lean breakfast that will fill you with energy that will keep you safe during the morning, and is great for cleansing the body.

You need:

- two spoons of cereals as desired;
- optional spoon of chopped dried fruit;
- one apple;
- one carrot;
- 2 tablespoons crushed almonds;
- honey or stevia.


If desired, coarsely grind two tablespoons of cereals and pour a little more water overnight. Dip another tablespoon of chopped dried fruit in another glass. In the morning, mix everything, add grated apple and carrot, and two tablespoons of crushed almonds and honey, even better stevia. Eat slowly.

For lunch we suggest the monastery fish. This spicy meal is great for fasting.

You need:

- 1 kg of sliced ​​fish;
- 3 onions;
– 300 g of chopped peppers;
– 300 g of boiled tomatoes;
- a little oil;
- with and pepper, biozacin.


Put the fish in a pan, add salt and bake in a preheated oven. When half-baked, add the chopped vegetables, pour over the boiled tomatoes, season with bio-spice and pepper and return to the oven to bake. Serve hot. Dinner during fasting should be light, so we advise you to make a lean proja with ajvar.

You need:

- 400 ml of water;
- 100 ml of oil;
- 1 teaspoon of salt;
- 4 tablespoons of ajvar;
– 300 g of corn flour;
– 150 g of white flour;
- 1 baking powder.


Mix water, oil, ajvar, salt, add flour and baking powder. Mix and pour into molds, if it is a metal mold, coat with oil and flour or put paper baskets. It can be cut into cubes or slices in a cooled pan. Bake at 200 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. They are great even after three days when they warm up.



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