Ethiopian Orthodox Advent (Sibket) – Fast of the Prophets (Tsome Nebiyat)
Advent, called Sibket in Amharic, is a time for spiritual preparation for the celebration of Christmas. Sibket commemorates the preaching of the prophets that Messiah will come to redeem His people from bondage. The fast preceding Christmas lasts 40 days and is called Fast of the Prophets (Tsome Nebiyat). It begins with Sibket (November 24) and ends on Christmas Eve (January 6) with the Feast of Gena.
Fasting during Sibket can include skipping breakfast and not eating anything until 12:00 noon or 3:00PM, and eating only vegan foods when meals are consumed. According to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Faith and Order website: “fast generally implies one meal a day to be taken either in the evening or after 2:45 p.m. with total abstention from meat, fats, eggs and dairy products.” Instead cereals, vegetables and other type of food devoid of fats are eaten.