What exactly is fasting?

March 6, 2022 / Topical / Background

The 40 days not a drop! challenge coincides with the fasting period. This fasting period always starts on Ash Wednesday. Then you drink no alcohol for 40 days. But a fast is more than not drinking alcohol. Below we explain what fasting means.

During a fasting period you eat or drink differently and often less than when you are not fasting. Why people fast is very different. Often there is a religious thought behind it, but fasting is also done for medicinal reasons.

Different every year

In the major religions, a fasting period is fixed in advance, but it differs per year when the fasting period starts. Take, for example, the Christian Lent. The Christian Lent period starts after Carnival on Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday always falls 46 days before Easter (there are 40 days of fasting, Sundays in this period do not count)*, Ascension Day then falls 39 days later, Pentecost always falls on the 7th Sunday after Easter, the 49th day after Easter or the 50th day of Easter.

Why do we celebrate Carnival?

Carnival, originally a Catholic festival, celebrates the beginning of Lent. In order to better cope with Lent, in the days before Ash Wednesday, on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, a big party is first celebrated. Then it is 40 days of fasting.

 

position of the moon

The date of Carnival and therefore Ash Wednesday changes every year, because the festival is connected to Easter. During the 40 days before Easter, Catholics traditionally fast. The first fast day is called Ash Wednesday. To prepare for Lent, Catholics celebrate the three days before Ash Wednesday: Carnival. The date of Easter changes every year. This depends on the position of the moon. It is agreed that Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the start of spring. Easter therefore falls between March 22 and April 25. We therefore celebrate Carnival between 1 February and 7 March. Source: wilwever.kro-ncrv.nl.

Lent

The Lent period as we know it in Christianity is in preparation for Easter. Lent, actually 46, but there is no fasting on Sundays, is a period in which people can focus more on their faith and show solidarity with those who are struggling.

Fasting habits in Christianity

-1 full meal per day (strict fasting)

Fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, no other Fridays during Lent

eating meat (smoother fasting)

-Charity and piety instead of fasting. During Lent you abstain from

certain luxuries and habits, such as watching television, snacking, smoking, or drinking alcohol.

The money saved is for a good cause.

* At IkPas we use 40 days and we do count Sundays as break days. So that you do not drink alcohol for 40 consecutive days.

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