When can you fish in Lent in 2020

The terms of the Orthodox Great Lent change every year, as does the date of the Resurrection of Christ, celebrated by Orthodox Christians around the world on Easter. A bright holiday is preceded by a period of the most severe and continuous dietary restriction. If everything is clear with the main groups of products and the ban on their consumption, then a lot of questions arise with fish and seafood, especially among Orthodox who intend to fast for the first time. For those who are interested in when you can eat fish in Great Lent in 2020, you should familiarize yourself with the following information.

The timing

48 days - it is precisely this period that the Orthodox need to refrain from food that is forbidden during Great Lent. 40 of them are associated with the period that Jesus Christ wandered through the wilderness, taming his flesh with a lack of food. The next 8 days are the most severe, as they are dedicated to the last days of the Savior's life, his sufferings and execution.

In 2020, the fasting period falls from March 2 to April 18, so Easter will be quite early.

Controversial issue

Moments prohibiting the use of meat during lean periods have an unambiguous interpretation. The Bible says that in paradise people only ate vegetarian food, because they lived in harmony with nature and did not kill sentient beings. The meat of slaughtered animals captures in itself the energy of fear and anger, which man saturates himself. All living beings are the creatures of God, which means offending, and even more so killing them in this sacred period for the Orthodox, is real blasphemy.

But the Bible does not explicitly mention fish, and this product is really different from all other types of meat. Even the clergy therefore had different opinions about the matter, but then a unified church strategy was developed regarding fish in the days of Great Lent.

Special periods

In order not to violate the general rules established during this period, it is necessary to remember first of all about the most stringent stages. The first of them in 2020 will fall on a clean Monday, March 2. At this time, it is forbidden not only to eat fish, meat, alcohol, but also any other products.

Diet in other periods depends on the days of the week:

  • Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays - clean water, yeast-free bread, fresh and dried fruits and vegetables, compote or boil are allowed;
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays - you can eat hot dishes without adding any kind of oil;
  • Saturdays and Sundays - dishes with the addition of vegetable oil (it is better if it will be of different types - sesame, olive, flaxseed, corn, sunflower, etc.).

As for fish, there are two periods when it is allowed to everyone without exception:

  • April 7 - Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
  • April 12 - Palm Sunday.

On the Day, called Lazarus Saturday in Orthodoxy, you can eat caviar of all kinds of fish. But even on these days, it should be remembered that the number of fish dishes to be eaten should be reasonable and moderate, since immoderation is one of the main vices that believers try to protect themselves from during this period.

As for the excessive restriction of oneself, the complete rejection of fish, as is sometimes observed in some fasting people, Orthodoxy does not encourage this approach, since the believer must be humble and obey the general rules. The desire to distinguish oneself from the rest is a manifestation of pride, so you do not need to cut your diet beyond what is supposed to be.


All of the above applies to those who strictly abide by the canons. But not everyone holds Lent in this form. The priests advise initially to choose the form that a person is able to withstand to the end: it is much better than starting in a very strict form and not resist.

There are categories to which relaxation is recommended. Such people can eat fish and seafood any day. These include:

  • pregnant and lactating mothers;
  • children and adolescents under 18 years old;
  • those who suffer from serious chronic diseases or are ill at the time of Lent;
  • old people.

All these categories need good nutrition, so the church makes an exception for them. They can eat fish on any day of Great Lent, but in moderation. The main thing is to accompany the period of abstinence with prayers, sincere repentance, communions and church visits.

In what form is the fish

When it comes to lean fish, they primarily mean low-fat varieties, such as river bream, pollock, carp, flounder, hake, etc. You can afford herring, pink salmon, pike perch.

It is most preferable to steam fish during Great Lent or boil it: this way it will be more lean and will not absorb oil, as when frying. You can cook pies with fish or bake oven pies; rolls with fish fillets are recommended for use. In addition, you can cook on the grill - this wonderful method allows you to save everything useful. Lenten fish soup or vegetable stew with fish will also be hearty and tasty.

What to cook in a post: video tips 5 lean fish dishes