Good Friday and the Lentan Fast is nearly finished, but now it becomes even more rigorous.
The Ethiopian Lentan fast is the most rigorous fasting I know about, (although I am by no means an expert on fasting). For the strict observers of the fast, the 55 days of Lent are very tough on the body. Fasting in Ethiopia not only means cutting out the animal produce – so a vegan diet – but also means many hours of no food or drink. Each fasting day the observer will not eat of drink anything from the time they wake up until after the mass in the middle of the day is finished in church – for many that means 4pm. Two simple meals would then follow a late ‘lunch’ or more properly ‘break-fast’, and a light supper in the evening. What staggers me is that there is no drinking – not water, not coffee, nothing – during those fasting hours.
So this has now been going on for 53 days. Today – Good Friday (or Sekelet) it goes to another level. Some of those fasting – will start a total abstinence today. From Good Friday morning they will not eat or drink until they finish mass in church on Saturday night, or more properly at 3am on Easter Sunday morning. Others will eat on Good Friday (4pm after church and again before bed) but start a total fast from then until 3am on Sunday.