Orthodox Nativity fast

Fasting recipe: Christians in the Eastern world fast for 40 days before Christmas which arrives on 7 January. The fast prohibits meat, dairy, eggs, oil, alcohol, etc. The idea of the fast is to subject the body & carnal nature in preparation for the coming of the Christ, much like Christ fasted for 40 days before his death and resurrection. During the fasting period more time is to be spent in prayer and Scripture.

Called the Nativity Fast, it is a period of abstinence and penance practiced in preparation for the Nativity celebration. While somewhat like Advent in the West, the Eastern fast runs for 40 days and is more broad in terms of food items prohibited. In the Western Gregorian calendar the fast is observed from 15 November thru 24 December, while Eastern churches using the older Julian calendar the fast begins on 28 November to 7 January.

Here is a nice salad recipe that is delicious and fits nicely within the fasting limitations. It is great for the New Year and Christmas season.

Honey and cranberry salad

Preparation time: 15 minutes + cooling

1 large apple (cutting medium diced)
2/3 cup cranberries
1 stalk celery (chopped)
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. honey

In a small bowl, combine the apples, cranberries and celery. In a separate container, mix the mayonnaise and honey, pour over salad and place in the refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes before serving.