Christmas fasting begins today: This is how you should fast properly

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Today, November 28, the great Christmas fast begins. Unlike the Easter fast, the beginning of which varies, this fast always begins on this date and lasts 40 days, ending on Christmas Day (January 6).

For the Orthodox Christians who follow the Julian calendar, the six-week Christmas fast begins today.

The fast will last for 40 days, ie until Christmas, January 7, the day of the birth of Jesus Christ. Because the date of Christmas does not change, Lent begins on November 28 each year and ends on 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.

Orthodox Christians freely decide on this feat, the purpose of which is to cleanse the soul and body, which is achieved not only by abstaining from greasy food, but also from bad thoughts, words and deeds.

The Christmas fast is the second longest, right after the Easter fast. In terms of "strictness" for the use of food, the Christmas fast is "lenient", as it allows the use of wine, cooking oil and fish.

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 mind and body, which is achieved not only by abstaining from fatty foods, but also from bad thoughts, words and deeds. During the Christmas fast, all the celebratory tables are fasted.

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

The one-day fasts are on Wednesday and Friday, Vodokrst on January 18, the Beheading of St. John the Baptist on September 11 and the Day of the Cross on September 27.

Multiple fasts are Easter, St. Peter's Day, Mother of God 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 are 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 Monday, Wednesday and Friday, oil and wine are not eaten; oil and wine are allowed on Thursday and Tuesday, and oil, wine and fish on Saturday and Sunday. If a holiday falls on a Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday, oil, wine, and fish are allowed. If the feast of a minor saint falls on Wednesday and Friday, oil and wine are allowed. If it is a big holiday on Wednesday and Friday, besides oil, fish is also allowed. If a day of church glory falls on Wednesday and Friday, oil, wine and fish are allowed, writes bigorski.org.mk

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 make sure the body continues to receive the necessary vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

In addition, see what rules you should follow in order to observe fasting and receive communion.

November 28: The first day of fasting is not particularly difficult. Those who decide to fast can eat fish, cooked food, but not vegetable oil. On this day you can prepare vegetable soup and rice.

November 29: It is forbidden to eat cooked food on Friday. Believers believe that nuts, fruits and fresh vegetables should be eaten on this day. It is also allowed to eat bread, honey and dried fruits.

November 30 / December 1: It is allowed to prepare fish in vegetable oil.

December 2: You can not eat oil, but you can still cook a meal, for example vegetable cream soup as a main dish and cooked vegetables for dinner.

December 3, 4 and 5: You can eat low-fat fish or lean pie.

December 6: On this day, thermally processed foods are eaten - nuts, honey and dried fruits. Such food will fill you with energy.

December 7 and 8: These days you can eat fish and seafood again. Squid pasta is a great dinner.

December 9: Oil is prohibited on Mondays, so you can make millet porridge to which you can add fruit and honey. For dinner, you can roast vegetables or eat pickles.

December 10: Fish Day. Feel free to eat fish and seafood.

December 11: This is a dry day again. You can eat salads of fresh vegetables, dried fruits and nuts.

December 12: Food in oil is allowed. You can eat fish, all kinds of pastries, but you must never eat meat, milk and cheese.

December 21-22: These two days the fish are the main ones on the menu.

December 23: A cooked meal based on water and salads can be eaten.

December 24: On this day it is allowed to eat meals prepared in oil.

December 25: Day of dry and raw food. Eat honey to regain your energy.

December 26: It is allowed to eat cooked food.

December 27: Dry food day. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.

December 28-29: These days you eat fish.

December 30: Oil-free day. Cooked vegetables, cream soup, salad…

December 31: You can add oil to meals today. Make your own homemade potato pie.

January 1: Do not eat cooked food on this day.

January 2: Cooked food can be eaten, but without oil. Consume boiled cereals to supply the body with vitamins.

January 3: Dry food day.

January 4 and 5: These two days you can cook soup, peas, beans, lentils in oil.

January 6: Dried fruits are eaten on Christmas and strict fasting is practiced.

Christmas fasting has begun: What the menu should look like in the next 40 days

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