Symi Dream

Living on a Greek island

A Greek island blog from Symi in the Dodecanese islands of Greece. "James’s great talent lies in his careful observation of the absurd and the amusing, the dramas and the difficulties..." Anne Zouroudi.

Symi Dream - Living on a Greek island

Fasting Orthodox Style

Fasting Orthodox Style

Just a quick note. I wanted to find out a bit more about the diet diary fro Greek Orthodox Easter, and so I did some searching around and found a few sources on various websites. Not that I intend to keep to this diet myself, and, as far as I can see, not everyone does. But here are a few notes from one particularly detailed site that you might find interesting, along with a few random images.

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Pedi view, January

Weekly Fast
Unless a fast-free period has been declared, Orthodox Christians are to keep a strict fast every Wednesday and Friday. The following foods are avoided:
Meat, including poultry, and any meat products such as lard and meat broth.
Fish (meaning fish with backbones; shellfish are permitted).
Eggs and dairy products (milk, butter, cheese, etc.)
Olive oil. A literal interpretation of the rule forbids only olive oil. Especially where olive oil is not a major part of the diet, the rule is sometimes taken to include all vegetable oils, as well as oil products such as margarine.
Wine and other alcoholic drink. In the Slavic tradition, beer is often permitted on fast days.

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Exceptions
The Church has always exempted small children, the sick, the very old, and pregnant and nursing mothers from strict fasting. While people in these groups should not seriously restrict the amount that they eat, no harm will come from doing without some foods on two days out of the week — simply eat enough of the permitted foods. Exceptions to the fast based on medical necessity (as with diabetes) are always allowed.

Those two paragraphs are from this page, and you can click the link to find the full details if you are interested. http://www.abbamoses.com/fasting.html

Other days and fast periods are listed there too.

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The tower has now been renovated (Ag Athanasios)

 

Clean Monday

Clean Monday

It’s Clean Monday as I write, and the beginning of Lent. There have been carnivals and parties, celebrations and feasts before the fasting begins, and already there are firecrackers and the occasional dynamite going off to ward away the evil spirits.

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The weather is calm and a little cloudy, but we’ve not had heavy rain for a few days, and it’s generally warm outside, though the other night saw a drop which necessitated heaters and blankets while watching the television. Most of the shops are closed on Clean Monday as families go for seafood barbeques on the beaches, or in the hills, at their farmsteads and small holdings, or in their village and harbour houses. The schools are closed, so the children have an extra day to play and join in with family events, and there’s a calm, friendly atmosphere all across the village.

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From now on, for the next 40 days, it’s all about preparing for Easter, fasting for those who follow the Orthodox calendar, not complete no-food fasting, not yet, but there is a strict diet. Not everyone follows it, and you will still find the regulars at certain bars and tavernas in the evenings. Usually, I have to say, the men, but then the women tend not to use the cafes as much as men, not the older, more traditional women at any rate. It’s still common to see an older lady wait at the kafenion door and shout in, rather than enter when searching for a husband who should have been home hours ago.

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Anyway, that’s me rambling on. I have nothing planned for this week apart from my usual, though Neil has taken up aerobics again and has been going out for walks. We’re looking forward to our holiday which is coming up in four weeks’ time. More on that later, no doubt and I hope to have The Witchling published before we go. That’s my next target.

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