Tradition of the Great Lent originates from ancient Christian church and is kept only in Orthodox. Lent is called Great because of its importance and is kept in memory of 40 day lent of Jesus Christ who, after his baptism, retired in a desert.
Great Lent is the longest (49 days) and strictest. It is recommended to manage without food in the first two days and the last one of Lent and be moderate in other days. You can eat fish only on the day of Annunciation and Palm Sunday. Vine and oil is allowed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Lent is not a diet for physical health, but for moral health. Lent is considered as a deeping into spiritual world where you can appreciate the value of a word, as a word is silver, but silence is gold. Lent is a real heroic exploit and far from everyone can do it.
What did people eat at Lent time? Let’s imagine Lent fair: dry mushrooms, peas, radish, carrot, onion, beet, sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, bilberries, cranberries, apples, honey, jam. There were special Lent dishes – Turya (salted water with bread pieces and chopped onion), Tolokno (fried oats with salted water), Kulesh (thin gruel made from peas, potatoes and groats). In fact, Lent table could not be so poor, as there are many vegetable dishes. The principal thing was refusal of pleasures and that made believers be thankful for this simple food. Great Lent prepares a believer to the greatest event – resurrection of Jesus, Easter.