The Nativity Fast (often referred as Advent in the West) began on Sunday, November 15th, and lasts through the Divine Liturgy of Christmas Day. This is one of the four fasting seasons during the year.
During this time, Orthodox Christians fast and pray in preparation for the Feast. According to the Tradition of the Church, we observe this Fast by abstaining from meat (including poultry and eggs), dairy, olive oil and wine. On Wednesdays and Fridays, we also abstain from fish.
In a long-standing tradition, the bishops of the OCA gave a special dispensation to break the fast for Thanksgiving.
While many people relax these rules, it is important that we do as much as we can, so that we can properly prepare ourselves spiritually for the Great Feast of our LORD’s Nativity.