This article will reveal the meaning of the fasting itself and if it is necessary for everyone.
At first, I will give you a brief excerpt from a dictionary to show what fasting is:
«The Russian word ‘post’ (fasting in English) is common Slavic: in Old Russian -‘post ‘; in Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian -‘post ‘; in Slovenian, Upper Sorbian, Slovak, Polish — ‘pust’; in Czech — ‘pust’. According to researchers (Max Fasmer and others), it was borrowed by the Moravian-Pannonian Slavs from the Old High German language, in which the word ‘fasto’ means fasting. The Moravian- Pannonian Slavs passed this word to other Slavic languages.
This word entered the Old Russian language, apparently, with the adoption of Christianity. It is found in the oldest handwritten book «Izbornik» of 1076: «With the martyrs of Christ, for the sake of mercy, betray your body to nakedness, will to trample, womb to fast, heart to fortress» (l. 219)»
As you can see, fasting came into religion not by chance. Abstinence from food, and sometimes even water, was conceived as a torment, and through the torment purification of the soul was probably achieved in religion.
The concept of suffering was deeply embedded in religions, and fasting helped to develop this trend.
Often we call «post» places where a police officer is standing or this place is guarded by soldiers (I am writing in simple language).
Do you think why?
Because ‘ post’ in Russian (fasting in English) means to stand in a certain position.
Abstaining from food, and even from water, is definitely dangerous for children.
As regards adults, fasting has its roots outside religion and I’ll tell you about them now.
The early Spring in nature is a period of purification. People drank a number of cleansing herbs, cleansed the intestine and the skin with special herbs and read ritual songs for cleansing. In countries with cooler climate, a complete rejection of food and, more over, of water, was not relevant, and generally was considered dangerous, I completely agree with this. But they consumed lighter food and began a serious purification cycle.
I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the cleansing took place 2 times a year: in Spring and Autumn. It was completely interrelated with the Wheel of Time. Spring is a birth, and in order to go on the path of Life pure, there was a series of ablutions and rituals. Autumn is preparation for fading (Death), therefore the cleansing is necessary too.
It is vitally important to understand that traditions are always associated with the Wheel of Time, because it keeps the wisdom of the Universe, and it has nothing to do with religions.