While it's Palm Sunday in western Roman Catholic and Protestant Christendom, in Russia the Great Lenten fast has just begun. While the percentage of the Russian population which keeps to the strict Lenten fast remains quite low, the number of those choosing to abstain from not only meat but also fish and dairy products and attend services over the 40 days has increased in recent years, culminating in the feast of feasts, Great and Holy Pascha.
This year the Russian Orthodox celebration of the Resurrection falls on Sunday May 1st, about a week before the second most beloved Russian public holiday, Victory Day (May 9).
The first Sunday of Great Lent is also known as the Sunday of Orthodoxy, commemorating the restoration of reverence for icons in Orthodox worship in 9th century Constantinople after decades of iconoclastic attacks on the Church.
Below is a Russian TV report on the foods monks and lay people eat during the Fast: