Syriac Orthodox institutions and churches celebrate end of Fast of Nineveh

BETH NAHRIN — A divine mass was held on Wednesday in the Syriac Orthodox churches, following the eastern calendar, across Beth Nahrin (Mesopotamia) to celebrate the end of the Fast of Nineveh.

The three-day fast commemorates the three days that the Prophet Jonah spent inside the belly of the Great Fish and the subsequent fast and repentance of the Ninevites following a message of warning delivered to them by Prophet Jonah.

The Fast of Nineveh has been tied to a belief that observing the fast will help to prevent natural disasters and outbreaks of disease.

Fasting varies from person to person, depending on their physical ability. Some people fast for three consecutive days by completely interrupting food and drinking.

On the third day, fasting people head to churches to attend Mass and break the fast with special, traditional foods.

The Syriac Cultural Association held a special ceremony for the occasion in the town of Qabre Hewore (Al-Qahtaniyah) and Zalin (Qamishli).