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The Great Lent Starts in Russia
27.02.2012 14:26
The Great Lent Starts in Russia

Today Russian members of the Orthodox Church begin keeping the Great Lent, the most long-lasting and strict fast in Russian orthodox tradition. 

      Within seven weeks the believers should spend days in prayers, abstention from meat, fish and dairy products, as well as from alcohol and different pleasures and entertainments. The whole fast is a kind of reflection on the Savior’s earthly life, his crucifixion, death and resurrection.

      Lent is a serious trial for believers. According to church canons, a human being can purify his soul and get ready for Holy Easter only through fasting. This year the Holy Easter falls at April 15. 

      The beginning of the Great Lent is anticipated by Forgiveness Sunday, the last day of Pancake Week. On Forgiveness Sunday people ask forgiveness of their friends and of people they don’t know and let go of whatever grudges and resentments they might bear. 

      Forgiveness Sunday is also the day when people burn the mascot of Pancake Week, a straw effigy of Lady Maslenitsa, make fires and engage in pageants and fist fights. The church isn't very pleased about all these pagan traditions but still recognizes right of the Russians for their pre-Christian holidays.

      Many doctors support the idea of keeping the Great Lent as the best way of clearing the body of impurities and toxins and health-building. However, churchmen always say that the Lent is not a diet but the act of both body and soul purification.  


Sources: Interfax Image: rusnovosti

Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Russian Orthodox Church Russian traditions Lent   

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