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On August 1, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church marks start of Theotokos Lent

Photo: Iva Antonova

On July 31, the Orthodox Church celebrates the day before the beginning of the Great Lent dedicated to the Theotokos. It lasts for 2 weeks and ends on August 15 with one of the biggest Christian holidays, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary or Great Virgin Mary.

The fasting period dedicated to Virgin Mary is not as strict as the Easter one. The use of meat, dairy products and alcohol is prohibited. 

On August 6 - the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, fish is allowed. During the rest of the time, fruits, vegetables, nuts and lean meals are allowed. 

Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the Virgin's Lent are "dry" days - only raw fruits and vegetables, brown bread, olives and dried fruits are allowed. Cooked meals without fat are allowed on Tuesday and Thursday. On Saturdays and Sundays, cooked dishes with a little oil or olive oil and a little red wine are permissible.

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