Lent is a special period (sometimes one day) during which Orthodox Christians refrain from consuming food of animal origin in order to purify themselves spiritually.
Also, on such days, believers read prayers, go to temples, refrain from irritability and quarrels.
During periods of fasting, the Church forbids loud parties and entertainment (for example, singing songs, going to the cinema, watching entertainment programs, etc.).
If you follow all the church rules, it is important to know when all the fasts of 2023 will be.
Orthodox fasts of 2023: multi-day
Great Lent: February 27 - April 15, 2023
This fast is considered the longest in the church calendar and precedes the bright Easter.
In general, Great Lent lasts 48 days, always beginning on Monday (seven weeks before the Resurrection of Christ) and ending on Saturday.
Great Lent is also considered one of the strictest.
On its first day, the Church recommends completely giving up food, only drinking water is allowed.
Then, from Tuesday to Friday, you are allowed to add any dry food to your diet (that is, bread, salt, raw vegetables and fruits, nuts, dried fruits, honey), and on Saturday and Sunday you can eat hot lean dishes cooked in oil .
In the second and sixth weeks of Great Lent, believers eat only dry food on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, on Tuesday and Thursday hot food without oil is allowed, and on the weekend - with oil.
The last week of fasting is called Passionate Seven.
All days the Church allows only dry food.
And on Friday, before taking the shroud out of the temple, it is better to refuse any food.
At the same time, on major church holidays that fall on this fast (Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on April 7 and Palm Sunday a week before Easter), you can add fish to the diet.
Fish roe is allowed on Lazarus Saturday (celebrated on the eve of Palm Sunday).
Peter's Lent: June 12 - July 11, 2023
It is also called the Peter and Paul fast, because it is dedicated to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, who during their lives went through many wanderings in order to carry the Word of God.
Peter's fast begins on Monday, the 57th day after the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ (and a week after the day of the Holy Trinity), and ends every year on the same day - July 11.
Therefore, in 2023, Peter's fast will last 30 days.
This fast is not as harsh as the Great one.
Therefore, the Church allows you to eat fish on Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends, on Mondays you can add hot dishes without oil, and on Wednesdays and Fridays you can only eat dry food.
Regardless of what day John the Baptist's Christmas falls on (July 7, 2023), you can eat fish.
Assumption Lent: August 14-27, 2023
It was established in honor of the great feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
According to its duration, it is considered the shortest.
It lasts only two weeks each year and always falls on the same period.
At the same time, food restrictions are quite strict.
Only dry food is allowed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, you can add hot dishes without oil, and on weekends - with oil.
Regardless of which day the Transfiguration of the Lord falls on (August 19, 2023), the Church allows the consumption of fish.
Christmas Lent: November 28, 2023 — January 6, 2024
The last multi-day fast that precedes the bright holiday of Christmas.
The beginning of the Christmas fast 2023 (as in other years) falls on November 28, whatever day of the week it is.
Its duration is 40 days.
Although fasting is quite strict, there are relaxations on certain days.
From November 28 to the feast of St. Nicholas (December 19, 2023), you can eat hot dishes without oil on Mondays, even fish on Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends, and only dry foods on Wednesdays and Fridays.
From December 20, 2023 to January 1, 2024, fish cannot be eaten on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but hot dishes with oil are allowed.
From January 2 to 6, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the Church allows only dry food, on Tuesday and Thursday - hot food without oil, and on Saturday and Sunday with oil.
On Christmas Eve, which is also called Christmas Eve, you cannot eat until the first star appears in the sky.
After that, a festive dinner with 12 fasting dishes begins.
On the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (December 4, 2023) and on the day of Saint Nicholas (December 19, 2023), it is allowed to eat fish, even if they fall on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday.
One-day fasts for 2023
There are also fasts that last only one day.
In 2023, they fall on the following days:
Epiphany: January 18;
Beheading of John the Baptist: September 11;
Exaltation of the Holy Cross: September 27;
Meeting of the Lord: February 15;
Annunciation of the Holy Mother of God: April 7;
Apostle John the Theologian: May 21 and October 9;
Nativity of John the Baptist: July 7;
Apostles Peter and Paul: July 12;
Transfiguration of the Lord: August 19;
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: August 28;
Nativity of the Virgin: September 21;
Intercession of the Holy Mother of God: October 14;
Introduction of the Mother of God to the temple: December 4;
Saint Nicholas: December 19.
When are the solid weeks of 2023
In the Church, those weeks when there is no need to fast on Wednesday and Friday are called solid weeks.
There are several of them in a year:
Holidays: January 7-17, 2023;
Publican and Pharisee: February 6-11, 2023;
Cheese (butter): February 20-26, 2023;
Easter (Light): April 17-22, 2023;
Troitsky: June 5-11, 2023.
Carnivores of 2023
There are four carnivores in the year.
These are the periods when, according to the Orthodox church statute, it is allowed to eat meat products.
They usually follow multi-day fasts:
Winter carnivore: January 7 - February 26, 2023;
Spring carnivore: April 16 - June 11, 2023;
Summer carnivore: July 12 - August 13, 2023;
Autumn carnivore: August 28 - November 27, 2023.
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Church calendar for 2023: major holidays, fasting and memorial days