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In the pre-New Year bustle, it is important to remember that the main Orthodox holiday is Christmas, and you need to prepare for it, and start in advance.

Preparations for the Bright holiday - this is the Christmas post. When it starts, what you can eat and what you can’t, how to behave, as well as a nutrition calendar for the Christmas post - read about all this below.

In this article:

  • Briefly about traditions from antiquity to the present day;
  • Christmas Post 2022-2023 (November 28 - January 6);
  • Rules of behavior and eating;
  • Everyday meals;
  • Food for every day.

A bit of history

It is documented that fasting before Christmas began to be kept only in the 4th century. However, at that time it lasted only seven days. Only in 1166 did the Patriarch of Constantinople sign a charter on the duration, and the Nativity fast became forty days long.

Today it is important to remember that Orthodox fasting is not a diet, and its essence lies not only in food restrictions. First of all, its task is to prepare the body and soul of believers for Christmas. After all, we are all immersed in everyday fuss, get angry, swear, indulge in excessive eating andalcohol, we pollute our thoughts and feelings. More modest food only helps to tune in to the right mood and devote more time to spiritual development.

Days of Advent 2022-2023

The date of Christmas does not change from year to year, so fasting always starts at the same time, namely November 28th. It lasts exactly 40 days and ends with the rising of the first star on January 6th. You can give yourself spiritual and bodily relaxation on January 7th.

What can and cannot be eaten?

Among the fasts, the Christmas one is considered non-strict, because. on certain days you can eat fish, vegetable oil, and even drink wine on weekends.

Strictly prohibited products of animal origin: eggs, milk, meat, cheese, butter and, accordingly, all derivatives of them.

There are three periods in the forty-day abstinence:

  1. November 28 - December 19
  2. December 20 - January 1
  3. 2-6 January

On some days, the diet consists only of thermally unprocessed food (in other words, dry eating), sometime you can eat hot dishes, on some days fish is allowed. The basis of the lean diet is vegetables, cereals, legumes and mushrooms. For more information about nutrition rules, see the Nutrition Calendar section.

The main challenge for those who fast is the New Year, because the whole country to have fun, and around the mass of delicious and forbidden food.

In addition to food, the church imposes restrictions on lifestyle: it is not recommended to watch TV (in any case, entertainment programs and feature films, channelsand spiritual programs are allowed), go to theaters, movies, read magazines and fiction.

Orthodox people are also forbidden to get married, have parties, but are allowed to be baptized. It is believed that during fasting a person should spend more time in prayer, in reading spiritual literature. Needlework - embroidery or knitting - is not forbidden, because. these activities are calm, soothing.

Often the question arises about the performance of marital duty. There is no single answer to this question. The clergy are unanimous that you should not plan conception for these days. However, if this happened, you should not worry about this, just like believing in superstition. Otherwise, this issue should be resolved individually, you can ask the advice of a family confessor. In any case, the decision regarding marital relations should be taken together.

In general, how strictly to fast and what lifestyle to lead these days is better to discuss with the confessor. After all, for example, small children, the sick, old people and wanderers, as well as pregnant and nursing mothers, are exempted from observing certain rules, following them, as far as he alth and circumstances allow.

We must strive to ensure that we quarrel less, scold, be more attentive and kind to others.

What to cook in the Advent for every day?

On the Internet, you can find a lot of recipes for meatless dishes that meet all the requirements, but at the same time are varied and nutritious. Here are some examples of what to cook for eachday.

On the days when hot food is allowed, you can cook different types of soups:

  • A simple soup of cabbage, potatoes and carrots with onions and garlic will be quite satisfying and inexpensive to make;
  • Lenten borscht is one of the traditional soups. The ingredients are the same as in the classic borscht, only without meat and sour cream;
  • Mushroom soup is also great. True, you will have to do without sour cream and mayonnaise.
  • Various vegetable soups with rice, lentils, peas. The main thing is to cook everything in water or vegetable broth.

Since everything happens in winter and it's quite cold outside, and a person needs calories, lean pancakes with appropriate fillings will be a great option for dinner:

  • Pancakes stuffed with buckwheat and mushrooms Yeast pancakes on dough without milk are perfect. True, they can be baked only on those days when vegetable fats are allowed, because. you can’t do without it when baking;
  • Spring rolls with potatoes and carrots For them, you can mix mashed potatoes (without milk and eggs) with fried carrots and onions - it will be lean and satisfying.
  • Sweet pancakes with apple or banana and raisins.

For main courses:

  • Various rice options+

It can be rice plus mushrooms, rice plus cabbage, rice plus peas, etc.;

  • Potatoes in all forms (fried with onions, with mushrooms, baked in the oven, boiled);
  • Cabbage (stewed and fresh); Fresh cabbage salads excellentsuitable for dry days;
  • Beans, side dishes of beans and other legumes are very nutritious and will allow you to hold out until the next meal without feeling hungry. You can even make lean cabbage rolls from legumes.

If the whole family is fasting, and some personal holiday falls at this time, you can cook lean pastries:

  • Cookies with poppy seeds;
  • Coconut Banana Cookies;
  • Carrot cake based on carrots, flour, raisins and vegetable oil.

As you can see, fasting food should not consist of only potatoes and buckwheat.

Since the diet is not very balanced, it is better to drink a complex of vitamins. If you are determined to keep the Advent Fast 2022-2023 from and to, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Food calendar by day

Prohibited products cannot be used for all 40 days. Here are the basic rules of nutrition by day.

First stage:

  • 28, November 30, 5,7,12,14, December 19 - it is allowed to eat any non-fast food, including hand or sea fish, with the addition of vegetable oil;
  • The exception is seafood - they are not allowed lean foods;
  • 29 Nov, 1, 6, 8,13, 15 Dec - Dry eating, i.e. only allowed products without heat treatment - bread, vegetables, fruits;
  • 11 and 18 December you can eat something hot without adding oil. Fishing is prohibited these days. An excellent option would be boiled or baked vegetables, soups, cereals.
  • During the weekend - 2,3,9,10,16,17 - you can add some wine to any Lenten dishes.
  • 4 Dec you can also treat yourself to vegetable oil, fish and wine in honor of the feast of the Entry of the Blessed Virgin into the Temple.

Second stage:

  • 20,22,27,29 Dec - dry eating;
  • 21,26,28 Dec - hot dishes with the addition of vegetable fats. No fish dishes;
  • Weekend - 23.24, 30.31 Dec - you can still eat fish, oil and wine;
  • December 25th and January 1st - hot meals allowed.

Third stage:

  • January 3 and 5 - dry eating;
  • 2 and 4 January - hot meals with vegetable fat;
  • January 6 - hot meals with vegetable fats, but no wine. Christmas Eve is called Christmas Eve. Sochivo (or kutia) - cereal porridge with nuts, honey and dried fruits is considered a traditional meal on this day.

This is what the Lenten food calendar looks like this year.

If you are just embarking on this path and in the rhythm of modern life it is not always possible to strictly follow all the rules, do not worry. After all, the main thing is not just to stop eating your favorite foods, but to become kinder, remember that you need to be able to forgive and be kinder to each other.

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