15 February 2010, Monday, 11:24
author: Eugene Rakhimkulov
Orthodox Christians start the Lent today. It is named so because of the high importance, paid to it in the Christian tradition. Besides, the Lent is considered great because of its duration – this is the longest fast among all other Christian fasts and lasts seven weeks. The Lent is set in the memory about the 40-day fast of Jesus Christ, who according to the Bible’s legend had left for the desert after the christening and fasted there. The Lent is also bound with the 40-day fast of Moses sometimes.
The Lent consists of the 40-day fast and the Holy Week fast, when it is especially severe. After the Lent the Easter comes.
The ancient Christians observed the Lent especially religiously. For example, it was strictly prohibited to eat any food and even drink before lunch. After 3 o’clock at noon one might eat bread, vegetables and drink water. Meat, milk, cheese and eggs were tabooed during the whole Lent. Nowadays the rules of the Lent practically remained the same though becoming less severe. The Russian Orthodox Church prescribes especially strict fast in the first and the last weeks of the Lent but in spite of all its severity its rules aren’t spread on children, sick, infirm and old people and only those people, whose health is strong enough, have to observe the Lent’s regulations.