Christmas Fast Purifies Bulgarians' Bodies and Souls

Society » CULTURE | November 15, 2010, Monday // 15:51
Bulgaria: Christmas Fast Purifies Bulgarians' Bodies and Souls Traditional Bulgarian Christmas Eve dinner, the last meals before the fast period is over.Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Bulgarian Orthodox Christians enter Wednesday a forty-day fast hailing the humbleness of soul and body to meet the birth of Jesus Christ.

The Long Lent, as it is also known, is seeking to purify people's bodies and souls, to propel the individual to do decent deeds and to repent over sins.

Fasting is related to the partial or temporary abstinence from food, particularly of animal origin such as meat and dairy products.

Unlike the Roman Catholic Church preaching meat abstinence on Fridays only during the whole fasting period, the Orthodox Church recommends abstinence throughout all 40 days. Exceptions are made only for children, pregnant women, the sick and elderly, who are allowed diary products.

The Christmas Fast ends December 25.

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