Great Lent - multi-day abstinence from most dishes, and emotional cleansing. In addition, it serves as a preparatory stage for the meeting of a very important holiday for all Christians - Easter. The entire period of strict abstinence is forty days, in accordance with biblical traditions. That is how many days Jesus spent in the desert, wandering, and not having the opportunity to get out of the terrible hell. The Savior fasted for exactly six weeks, and Great Lent arose in honor of this event.
Great Lent 2020: beginning and ending
Since Easter does not have a fixed date, all events preceding it also vary. An event such as Lent, of course, also depends on Bright Sunday, and always falls on different calendar numbers.
In order to correctly calculate the date of abstinence, it is important to remember a few mandatory rules. Answering the question: what date does Lent begin in 2020, it should be noted that this post will always begin on Monday, and this never changes. Regardless of the year, the beginning of Lent coincides with the first day of the week. Officially stop fasting should be on Easter, and this day should be talked about. Since Christ Sunday is considered the day of conversation, the end of fasting takes effect at midnight, the Saturday before Easter.
Lent begins on March 2, 2020, and ends on April 18, 2020
Features of Lent
When a person is going to refrain from fast food for forty long days, he must clearly understand his motives. What is the purpose of this important act? Very often it happens that people misinterpret the essence of fasting and try to achieve completely extraneous goals. For example, girls see in Great Lent an opportunity to go on a diet and lose a lot of weight. A certain percentage of fasting simply blindly follows the fashion trend, or simply tries to stay on the same wavelength. Allegedly, this is what society dictates, and to do so correctly. However, the importance of abstinence lies not in fasting, but more in spiritual cleansing. It is not enough to cleanse the body with a proper diet, it is necessary to renew the soul, to become cleaner from a psychological point of view. And only through spiritual abstinence is it possible to prepare yourself for the Bright Sunday.
In the prescribed period, it is not enough to refuse only products of animal origin. It is necessary to tune in a gracious mood, to think positively, not to wish evil to anyone, not to swear. The requirements of fasting are simple, and come down to repentance and humility, followed by spiritual enlightenment. It is forbidden to attend any entertainment venues during Lent, such as nightclubs, restaurants and even movie theaters. You should refuse the invitation to the wedding, because it is impossible to be in silence, without entertainment, and adhere to a diet. Spiritual food, in general, should be minimized. You should not watch television programs for a long time, read entertainment literature, play and gossip with friends.
The most difficult for abstinence are the last six days remaining until Easter. This week is called Holy Week, and is a very responsible period. According to Church Slavonic books, the word "passion" means "suffering", so the week is called passionate, that is, saturated with suffering. The Orthodox sometimes call the week not passionate, but Great. And every day of the week has the prefix "Great": Great Monday at the beginning, and Great Saturday in the final. This whole week is dedicated to the sufferings through which Christ was forced to go. First, the Last Supper, then judgment, crucifixion, and so on until the tragic incident - the Burial of the Son of God.
The meaning of the days of the Holy Week
The most difficult days of the week are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Monday is the time to remember Joseph, which is mentioned in the Old Testament. An incredibly important topic is the parable of the fig tree, which Christ cursed. According to tradition, Jesus, seeking food, came across a fig tree. But it turned out to be fruitless, and the angry Creator cursed him. Metaphorically, the curse is associated with a soul that does not bear any fruit: repentance, prayer and faith.
Tuesday is associated with such an important event as the expulsion of all merchants and Pharisees from the temple by the Lord. It is customary to pay tribute to all the spiritual sermons with which Jesus addressed people. The great environment is remarkable for the memories of how Judas betrayed the Savior and sold it for thirty pieces of silver. It is important to emphasize the decision itself to pass on the Teacher to the Pharisees. Thursday is associated with the Last Supper, and the events that followed. In particular, after the supper, Christ performed the washing of the feet of his disciples. Then Jesus retired to a night prayer, where he was seized by the guards. Friday is a day for referring to the period of judgment, execution, and his terrible death on the cross. After the martyrdom, the Son of God was buried on Saturday, after which his immortal soul descended to Hell. The Savior carried the news of his imminent resurrection into darkness. And on the same day, blessed fire descends upon the faithful in Jerusalem.
What you can and cannot eat during fasting
Forty days of abstinence is a serious test for a Christian, and this post lasts the longest, and has the most stringent rules. Holy Week is considered the most limited and severe. As for the menu in Lent, its key prohibition comes down to the rejection of food of animal origin. Everything that was not grown on earth, but was previously a living organism, is strictly excluded from a lean diet. This includes any meat, and even chicken, as well as semi-finished meat products. All types of offal, such as liver, heart, liver and others should not appear on the table.
Also prohibited are all products given by animals: milk and food based on it, eggs and sauces, especially mayonnaise. Since egg white is a part of sauces, it is forbidden to eat. In no case should you drink alcohol during Lent. However, sometimes a little red wine is not forbidden to drink, a certain proportion of fish is also allowed.
Meals by day of the week
Incredibly strict is the first week of the post, which has many prohibitions and restrictions. In the first seven days you can not eat hot food, fish, wine and any kind of oil, even vegetable. After the first week there should be some softening of the diet, and allowed to relax a bit. So, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday dry-eating is allowed, that is, the absorption of cold food cooked without adding oil. On Tuesday and Thursday it is allowed to eat hot dishes, however, it is advisable to refrain from oil. But on Saturday and Sunday, food can be hot and with butter. It is also permissible to drink some red wine to remember the Blood of Christ.
Holy Week is also characterized by increased severity, and it is generally desirable to reduce the number of meals to one per day. You can eat once, in the evening, after the appearance of the first star. Good Saturday in general should pass without food, and only after midnight can Lent be considered complete. The exception to the restrictions are holidays - Annunciation, and Palm Sunday. On these two holidays you can afford hotter with butter, and even seafood. It is recommended to spice up a meal with a glass of red wine.
Thus, it is very important to limit your passions and desires in order to be able to stop and take a fresh look at your life. Only through purification of the body and self-discipline is it possible to come to enlightenment, and realize the true essence of things. But you need to concentrate on the soul, and not just think about the impossibility of eating your favorite dishes. In addition, as an indulgence for all fasting, there are special days that make it possible to consume some fish, oil, and wine.
Lenten menu for every day: