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Saint Dimitri Orthodox Church will host its Eighth Annual Blini Breakfast March 9. Russian blini, a type of thin pancake, will be served in the traditional style with smoked salmon, herring and sour cream. Vegetable caviar, eggs and a variety of berry preserves will be available as well. Blini are traditionally served in Slavic households during the week before the beginning of the Lenten Fast. The thin crepe-like pancakes are eaten together with fish, sour cream and butter in order to consume all these foods before the beginning of Great Lent.These foods, that is, fish and dairy products, along with meat are not eaten during the 40-day Great Fast period preceding Easter or Pascha, as it is called among Orthodox Christians. The practice of fasting, or abstaining from certain foods, dates back to Judaism. The practice was recorded in Biblical times, Christ having fasted in the desert for 40 days. The practice of “fasting together with prayer, almsgiving and the preparation that the additional services during Lent provide is the true readying for the great feast of the Resurrection,” said the Rev. John Hennies, priest of Saint Dimitri Orthodox Church. Sunday, which is the last day before Great Lent, is called “Forgiveness Sunday.” On Sunday, the service rite of Mutual Forgiveness will be celebrated.
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