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Fasting traditions observed in non-Catholic religions


The Dialog

Fasting from food is one thing, but in Austria people once fasted from entertainment during Lent, according to Father Michael Witczak.

“In past times, Carnival [in Austria] would includes plays and concerts from Epiphany to Ash Wednesday,” said Father Witczak, associate professor of liturgical studies and sacramental theology at Catholic University of America. “Then all entertainment ceased until Easter.”

Other religious traditions that fast from food do so in ways different from Roman Catholics, he said. Among them:

— Greek Orthodox and Byzantine Catholics abstain from meat and dairy products on days of fast but have no restriction on how much they can eat

— Jews fast only one day each year on Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement

— Muslims fast for one month during Ramadan, when “they eat or drink nothing from sunrise to sunset but eat normally after sunset”