Why do we have to fast

Lent 2021 - Religious Meaning: Why Do We Fast 40 Days?

Meat, alcohol, internet - fasting can be varied and is very much in vogue. Here you can find out where the custom comes from and whether fasting is also suitable for losing weight.

The Christian fasting period is a time of repentance and reflection. It prepares believers for Easter. Fasting also plays a role in other religions. Fasting is an integral part of the pre-Easter period, along with other customs. You can read all the information below.

Lent 2021: when does it start? When does it end?

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends after 40 days on Easter vigil. Strictly speaking, there are 46 days, but the six Sundays are not counted.

In 2021, Lent begins on February 17th and ends on April 3rd. The periods for the fasting periods in the coming years can be found in the table.

yearBeginningend
2021February 17th3rd of April
2022March 2ndApril 14th
2023February 22April 6

The religious meaning of Lent

As the Bible says, Jesus is said to have been betrayed on a Wednesday and crucified on a Friday. Christians commemorate his suffering during Lent and refrain from eating meat on these days of the week. Christians use this tradition to prepare for Easter. Everything for Easterfind out here.

However, fasting is not a diet, but should serve as a time for reflection. In the Roman Catholic Church, Lent is also referred to as the "Easter penance period".

Fasting in Christianity lasts a total of 40 days - a time that is intended to commemorate Jesus' fasting period in the desert after his baptism. In the Protestant Church fasting is not of such central importance.

Religious fasting in other religions

All Information about Ramadanyou'll find here.
in the Islam Fasting is one of the five pillars of this religion. Fasting takes place in Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar year. Muslims are not allowed to eat, drink, smoke or have sex for 30 days between sunrise and sunset. Lent ends with the three-day festival of breaking the fast, the Sugar Festival.

Ramadan: The Prophet Mohammed was the first Muslim to fast on Ramadan. (Source: biky / imago images)

Yom Kippur is the great day of fasting in Judaism. It is forbidden to eat, drink or smoke on this day. Washing, working and sexual intercourse are also prohibited. On this day of atonement between God and man, all sins previously committed are to be atoned for.

The Hinduism has no uniform fasting times. However, fasting plays a fundamental role in Hinduism in order to purify the body and mind.

Lent: what can I eat?

People who are fasting restrict their food intake somewhat. To do this, they limit themselves to one large main meal per day and two small snacks in between. Only one main meal is allowed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Catholic believers, who are between 14 and 60 years old and strictly adhere to the fasting rules, also forego meat, alcohol, sweets, smoking or other enjoyments.

In the Middle Ages, fat, eggs and products containing milk were also banned. Today, habits such as surfing the Internet, watching TV or playing computer games are added. This gives Lent a current reference. What is important here is a consciously experienced renunciation, which should create space for new things.

However, Sunday is excluded from this, since Jesus is said to have risen on a Sunday. How strictly the fasting is actually practiced by the believers is up to everyone.

Info: While devout Christians adhere exactly to the guidelines, many limit themselves to giving up meat on Good Friday. Many devout Catholics and Orthodox have four fasts per year that last several weeks. During these times, alcohol, fat and animal foods are completely avoided.

How healthy is fasting?

For Christians, body and spirit should be purified through renunciation during Lent. If you do without gluttony, sweets and alcohol, you are doing something good for your body.

Plate of broth: An essential part of intermittent fasting. (Source: epd / imago images)

Intermittent fasting:Better than diet for losing weight?

You can only achieve a really big effect with a fasting cure such as therapeutic fasting or intermittent fasting. It can be used to prevent diseases such as diabetes, increase well-being and change unfavorable eating habits. The fact that the love handles can also melt is a popular side effect.

Here you can read about fasting cures and which mistakes fasting beginners often make.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.

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  • Subjects:
  • Lent,
  • Fast,
  • Religion,
  • Easter,
  • Good Friday,
  • Ash Wednesday,
  • Diet,
  • Lose weight,
  • Ramadan,
  • Fat,
  • Therapeutic fasting,
  • Islam