Great Lent 2023
After the great festivities of Maslenitsa, Orthodox believers begin Great Lent (Great Fast). Great Lent precedes the feast of the Holy Resurrection of Christ, Easter. In 2023 it will last from February 27 to April 15.
There is an opinion that the Great Lent is established in memory of the fasting of Christ, who spent 40 days in the desert without water and food after His Baptism.
Great Lent is the main and most austere fasting period. During the entire period of Great Lent the food is to be simple but varied, without unnecessary spices, sweets and salt. Meat, dairy products and eggs are replaced by plant food. Vegetables, fruit and porridges are preferred. The food is prepared only with water and without oil. There is a calendar that divides the fast into weeks, and each week with specific dishes.
The most austere weeks of Lent are considered to be the first and Holy Week. During these days diligent Christians eat nothing more hearty than a piece of bread and water. Not everyone is able to achieve this. The food during Lent needs to be handled sensibly. It is said that you should rely on your own strength, health and the blessing of the priest with whom you confess. He knows and feels your spiritual state like no other.
Fasting is not a diet. The purpose of Lent is not a ban on cottage cheese or sausages, but prayers, good deeds, fighting against your own sins and repentance.