In Christian Orthodox practice, there is a tradition of observing four days of fasting. Lent is the longest and strictest of them all.
In Orthodox church spiritual practice, two long-term fasts are fixed for certain dates, the rest (also two fasts - Velikiy and Petrov) are transitional.
The start time of Lent is determined by the date of the Passover celebration, which depends on the time of the Passover celebrations. In 2015, Orthodox Easter falls on April 12th. Accordingly, Great Lent is a period of time of seven weeks before the most important Orthodox celebration of the bright Resurrection of Christ. It turns out that in 2015 holy Lent begins on Monday, February 23rd.
Such a dating of the beginning of the holy four-month period (this is how Great Lent is called) brings some adjustments to the life of a modern Orthodox Christian. So, on February 23 (the day of defenders of the Fatherland) as a holiday for men, it should no longer be celebrated with all splendor, accompanied by eating fast food, drinking alcohol. The first day of fasting, as well as the entire first week (until Saturday), is strict. At this time, a Christian should especially delve into the depths of his soul, realize his personal shortcomings, he must try to prepare his soul for repentance and communion of the holy Body and Blood of the Lord. In the first days of Lent, in all Orthodox churches, a special Divine Service of Great Supper is performed with the reading of the Great Reposed Canon of St. Andrew of Crete. Therefore, despite the holidays dedicated to February 23rd, the Orthodox Christian is advised to think not about worldly celebrations, but about the spiritual improvement of the individual.
Also, a Christian should understand that the whole point of abstinence (fasting) is not just about excluding food of animal origin from the diet. The main purpose of fasting is the Christian's striving to become at least a little better in a spiritual sense. Therefore, it is necessary to refrain not only from certain foods, but also from sinful passions and vices. At the same time, a Christian must try to read the Holy Scriptures more often, attend services, take part in the sacraments, and turn to God in private in prayers.