Meals to Eat When Fasting for Holy Week Observance

1 April 2022
Abstinence Meals to Eat and Fasting for Holy Week Observance

Holy Week is the week that begins on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday. This is normally observed by the Roman Catholics, particularly the eastern Catholic Churches, every year to remember the Life and Sacrifices of Jesus Christ for all humanity.


However, those who are not Christians but have Catholic friends may tend to get curious about why certain customs are followed by the Latin Rite Catholics at this time of year. Many people may be wondering about the significance of this somber observance, as well as the specifics that go along with it.


The 40 days of Lent of the Catholic Church

During Holy Week, the Lenten season comes to a close. What exactly is the season of Lent?


Prior to the celebration of Easter for many Christians, particularly Catholics, Lent is a season of preparation for spiritual growth prior to the celebration of Easter Sunday. It starts on Ash Wednesday and lasts until Holy Saturday. It's common to see Lent as a time for self-reflection. This is in commemoration of when Jesus Christ spent 40 days in the wilderness, fasting and praying his way through the devil's temptations as he prepared for his public ministry.


In connection to this celebration, the Sunday before Easter is Palm Sunday. It is the beginning of Holy Week and a time to reflect on Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem.


According to the Bible, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem as a big throng gathered and waved palm branches in celebration. During this period, the term hosanna has been referred to as the popular exclamation. As both Savior and King, they were extolling the virtues of Christ as the name Hosanna refers to someone who is able to save others.


Palm Sunday is now celebrated by the Catholic Church through blessing palm fronds, which represent the palm branches and leaves that welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.


In addition to this, Fridays of the year are days of penance, but Holy Week is particularly significant since it is a period of personal contemplation for many individuals. This is why Lent is known as a period of penance.


You may put this season or week in the Catholic Church as a detox season, a time when one tries to cleanse themselves of the toxins that affect the body. To put it another way, the week leading up to Easter is a time of spiritual cleansing and restorative reflection.


During this period, Roman Catholics usually observe the Holy Week with Fasting and Abstinence.


What is Fasting?

During Holy Week, Catholics around the world is encouraged to fast in remembrance of Jesus Christ's own fasting in the desert.


As a matter of fact, the term "fasting" refers to the practice of restricting one's food intake and having only one full meal. As an example, someone who eats three big meals a day is asked to eat just one meal a day and two smaller meals that do not surpass the main meal in amount. It is most commonly to fast during Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The fasting duty applies to people who are at least 18 years old and has age limits for those who have not yet reached the age of 60. Meanwhile, ill persons are exempted to do this penance.


Quoting the explanation of Pope Benedict XVI regarding fasting, it is “denying material food, which nourishes our body, nurtures an interior disposition to listen to Christ and be fed by His saving word. Through fasting and praying, we allow Him to come and satisfy the deepest hunger that we experience in the depths of our being: the hunger and thirst for God.”


What is Abstinence?

In contrast, abstinence involves abstaining from eating meat, such as pork, chicken, and beef as well as any meat-based recipes, including soups and gravies.


There is also a reason why meat had to be picked out during this week of penance. For this reason, eating meat in your diet is generally connected with parties, festivals, and feasts. This is a time for contemplation, meditation, and contemplation, not a time for celebration. In a season when fasting is encouraged, meat may seem like a treat that should be avoided.


Now, you might be wondering what is there to eat if that is the case? The answer would be Seafood, such as fish and vegetables.


The rule about abstinence mandates that a Catholic who is 14 years old or older abstain from eating meat on all Fridays throughout Lent. In remembrance of Jesus' death on the cross, this is a Good Friday tradition to respect. Observance of a meat-free meal on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday is mandated by Catholic tradition and the Church Law, just like fasting.


Suggested recipes this Holy Week

Fish like tuna and mackerel are typical alternatives for meat during fasting and abstinence. And to tell the truth, canned tuna is a go-to meal for a lot of families throughout the Lenten season because of its portability, convenience, and practicality.


Be that as it may, foods such as veggies and fish may always be consumed. To help you lessen your worries this Holy Week, we collected some of the dishes you can cook this week so that you may focus on more essential things during this time of reflection and spiritual wellness:


1. Atcharang Papaya

Sauerkraut in the Philippines is known as Atcharang Papaya, a kind of pickle. If you're looking for something that's sweet and sour at the same time, go no further than this dish. This is also best as "sawsawan" to your fried fish or steamed vegetable.

2. Bulanglang

Vegetables of many kinds are used in Bulanglang, making it a nutritious meal. There are a number of distinct Bulanglang versions to choose from. To make Bulanglang, all you need to do is boil water or rice washing, the water that you used to clean rice, and then add the veggies in accordance with their cooking times.


It is best to boil hard vegetables first, such as calabaza squash, also known as kalabasa in tagalog, and green papaya, before adding the softer ones, such as malunggay, to the pot.


3. Ginataang Tilapia

Coconut milk is used to cook fish with spinach, which is known as ginataang tilapia. Red snapper and mackerel also work nicely with this recipe. Ginataan (sometimes written guinataan) is an indigenous Filipino cooking technique that includes the use of coconut flesh or coconut cream. Yes, it literally means cooked in coconut milk, as the name suggests.


4. Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa with Crabs

Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa is a vegetable dish made of Calabaza squash and string beans. Coconut milk or coconut cream is used in the preparation of this dish. For a richer taste, you may also prepare this recipe using beef or chicken (not during Holy Week, of course!) instead of only seafood.


5. Ginisang Ampalaya with egg

When we hear the word "ampalaya," we tend to think of bitterness and a generally disagreeable flavor. Even though this vegetable is known as a "bitter melon" because of its flavor, it doesn't necessarily have to taste bad. There is a distinct bitterness to some ampalaya, but with the appropriate preparation, it may really be rather savory and enjoyable. Among the many dishes that use this taste is Ginisang Ampalaya, a traditional Filipino meal.


Sauteed bitter melon or bitter gourd, tomato, onion, and eggs are the ingredients of Ginisang Ampalaya. This is a nutrient-dense meal in and of itself.


6. Ginisang Togue

Basically sauteed mung bean sprouts with bell pepper and shrimp in a savory sauce, Ginisang Togue is a popular dish in the Philippines. This Mung Bean Sprout recipe is a staple meal in Filipino homes and is easy to make at home. It's finest served with a side of plain, hot, white rice.

During Lent, you may like to try Ginisang Togue, or Sauteed Mung Bean Sprouts with Tofu and Vegetables. It's healthy and tasty at the same time.

7. Inihaw na Tilapia

Inihaw na Tilapia or grilled Tilapia is one of the favorite foods in the Philippines-- not just during Holy Week but also in summertime. Inihaw na Tilapia may be prepared in numerous ways, but the easiest method is to rub it with salt and pepper and grill it directly over the flames.


8. Inihaw na Pusit

Cooking grilled squid, known as inihaw na pusit in the Philippines, takes no more than a few minutes. With a spicy vinegar dip, your whole family will surely enjoy this dish.


9. Kangkong in Oyster Sauce

In the Philippines, a green leafy vegetable called kangkong is cooked with oyster sauce and a few other ingredients to make a simple vegetable meal called Kangkong in Oyster Sauce. It's also known as "water spinach" or "watercress." "Ongchoy" is the name given to the Chinese version of this vegetable. If you live abroad, you can easily see this in Asian grocers or Filipino businesses that provide this kind of food.


But in the Philippines, getting the ingredients of all these recipes is much simpler and more convenient especially if you live in a community like Lumina Homes.


All subdivisions built by Lumina Homes are located near public markets, grocery stores, and leading supermarkets such as the AllDay Supermarket. This is a one-stop-shop supermarket that lets you easily complete the ingredients for your food preparation this Holy Week.


So make now the home reservations on the Lumina Homes community nearest you and experience the convenience and practicality of having proximity to major establishments and facilities!

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