The Fast of Nineveh (Jonah’s Fast)

February 19/ 20 16

The fast of Nineveh, the shortest canonical lent recognized by the Orthodox Church, is observed for three consecutive days, from Monday till Wednesday fifteen days prior to the Great Lent following the dietary rules of the Great Lent. As with all other fasts of the Holy church, the fast of Nineveh is observed by refraining from the intake of all dairy and meat products.

It is one of the movable fasts of the Ethiopian Church; the day on which the fast falls is determined through calculations based on the church’s calendar system.

Accordingly, in this year (2016), the fast of Nineveh begins on Monday, Yakutat 14/February 22 and lasts until February 16th/ February 26th. During this fast, we remember the three days Prophet Jonah spent in the belly of a large fish as penance for his disobedience to God and the atonement of the sinful city of Nineveh. During these three days, we should look at our lives and show remorse for our disobedient natures and follow in the footsteps of Prophet Jonah and the people of Nineveh.

May God Almighty be pleased in our fasting, prayer and lent!