Today we’ll be talking about one of the traditions practised by the Eastern Catholics and Orthodox Christians around the world.
The Nativity Fast, known also as the Christmas Fast or Philip’s Fast, is a period of abstinence and penance in preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ.
The fast lasts for 40 days, from 15th of November till 24th of December according to the Grigorian calendar and from 28th of November until 6th of January according to the Julian calendar.
Through fasting, we consciously deprive ourselves of all sorts of living things in order to purify our body from the inside and outside, to strengthen the will and the power of our spirit, and to free the place for the cultivation of spiritual values. In this way, man regains his health, sustainability, consciousness, joy and happiness.
How should one fast?
This fast is not considered the strictest one in the Christian religion, but there are still certain rules that have to be followed. Also, it is important to mention that every Orthodox Church has its own small differences in some of the Do-s and Don’t-s, but the main rules are the same.
So, first of all, the fast of the Christians is not the same as in the other religions. If in Hinduism and Islam, eating food during the day is forbidden, in Christianity fasting can kind of relate to being vegan (although there are also days in which Christians abstain food). It traditionally entails fasting from red meat, poultry, meat products, eggs, dairy products, fish, oil, and wine. Fish, wine and oil are allowed on Saturdays and Sundays, and oil and wine are allowed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These products are forbidden on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the whole year because on Wednesday Christians keep a memory of the day Christ was transmitted to suffer and Friday – a memory of his suffers and death itself.
How to prepare for the fast
Nowadays people consume too many unfavourable and heavy (also poorly prepared/processed and combined) foods and our bodies accumulate a lot of toxins, poisons, mucus and waste substances. This leads to chronic sedation, and when a person starts the fast, the body reacts by starting a detoxification process. It is characterized by symptoms of a headache, fatigue, obsessive thoughts, low self-esteem, bad mood, irritation, and so on. Therefore, the preliminary gradual preparation of the organism is of the utmost importance.
And here are some tips how to prepare for the fast:
- Reduce and/or gradually stop smoking.
- Reduce and/or slow down all types of alcoholic beverages.
- Reduce and/or gradually stop coffee and all types of intoxicants – car, energy drinks, etc.
- Reduce and/or gradually remove from your menu all semi-prepared and sweet foods – chocolates, sweets, other similar sweets, fried, pasta and oily foods;
- Reduce and/or turn off red meat by replacing it with a balanced consumption of dairy products.
- Consume animal products NOT more than once a day, and NOT more often than twice a week.
- Do not combine red meat, fish, dairy products and eggs with carbohydrates such as rice, legumes, potatoes, bread and more.
- Animal products to be eaten in the evening with only slightly carbohydrate vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, cucumber, pepper, cabbage and others.
- Reduce or completely disable extracted fat – olives, olives, butter, margarine and others.
- Eat fruit until noon and if it is difficult to include oatmeal with dried or fresh fruit.
- Instead of extracting fat, consume seeds and nuts moderately, up to 40-60 grams a day.
A lot of people today use the religious fast as an opportunity to detox themselves and prepare their bodies for the next season foods. A lot of historians and conspiracy theorists say that the exact meaning of the fast was this. But people had to be made do it without questioning and for that religion was a good “weapon”.
Do you guys agree with this theory? And have you ever kept a fast? We will be happy to hear about your experiences!
Joy. Happiness. Love.