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18 Mar. 2024

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Lent 2024 has begun: how long it will last, what not to eat and other prohibitions

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Lent 2024 has begun: how long it will last, what not to eat and other prohibitions

Easter is one of the most important holidays for all believing Christians. But no less important is the period before the holiday, which prepares people for the Resurrection of Christ. Find out why Lent is necessary and what rules should be observed

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Lent 2024 is a special period in the Christian calendar intended for spiritual purification, introspection and preparation for the celebration of Easter. It is a time when believers are called to deepened prayer, fasting and works of mercy. The date of the beginning of Lent is determined depending on the date of Easter, which, in turn, is calculated according to the lunar calendar. In 2024, Lent began on 18 March.


How long does Lent last?


Lent lasts for seven weeks, until 4 May, which symbolises the seven days of creation and reminds us of the need for rebirth and renewal of the soul of every believer. During this time, a special diet and behavioural regime is proposed to promote spiritual and physical purification.


After Lent, believers celebrate Easter (the Resurrection of Christ). 


Lent serves not only as a preliminary preparation for the Easter celebration, but also as a deep period of personal purification on the eve of this sacred event. During this period, everyone strives for spiritual rebirth, seeking to change their lives for the better. It is a time when it is especially important to rethink our views on life, relationships with others and the values we hold. Thus, the central focus during Lent is on purifying thoughts and actions. Abstinence from certain foods is a supportive element of this process, not its basis.




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In general, the whole Lent is divided into:


- Holy Week (5 weeks + 5 days);

- Lazarus' Sabbath;

- The entry of the Lord into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday);

- Holy Week (week) before Easter (6 days).


Each of the seven weeks is filled with a special spiritual meaning.


Lent: what not to eat?


Eating during Lent involves complete abstinence from animal products, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and eggs. 


Believers are also advised to limit the consumption of vegetable oil and alcoholic beverages. On certain days, such as Maundy Monday (the first day of Lent) and Good Friday (commemorating the suffering of Jesus Christ), stricter abstinence is suggested, up to and including complete refusal of food and water for a certain period of time.


However, fish is permitted on the days of the Twelve Days.


We should not forget that Lent is not only a time of restriction and abstinence. It is also a time to strengthen one's spiritual life through prayer, reading the Scriptures, and participation in church services. Believers are encouraged to engage in active charity and help those in need, which is an important part of fasting and spiritual self-improvement.


We remind you! In Ukraine, Orthodox and Catholics will celebrate Easter on completely different dates in 2024, despite the country's transition to the new church calendar. What affects the calculation of the day of the Resurrection of Christ and why the dates of these two faiths are still different, we tell you here.


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




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