Fasts of the Manichaeans: Species, Number, Time, and Reason

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student in Oriental Religions, Iranian Religions, University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Oriental Religions, Faculty of Religions, University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran


Fasting is one of the main obligations of Manawi society. In addition to one-day fasts, a number of Manichaeans also had two-day fasts; fasting two consecutive days without breaking in between. The main question of the current research is the duration of the two-day fasts. Since the time of the Manichaean fasts is stated with the index of constellations in the Babylonian solar-lunar chronologies, an astronomical extraction is needed in a period of about 1700 years to determine the current time of the fasts. Using a comparative method, this article seeks to examine the number of normal days of the Manichaeans in a week, month, and year based on the library sources with a critical analytical approach. Then, using modern astronomical software, it extracts the exact duration of two-day fasts. A significant number of researchers believe that the influence of Christianity on Manoism is clear, and they search for the fundamental roots of the Mani religion in the numerous Christian sects of that time. Therefore, with the help of the religious chronology of Christians in the era of Mani's life, the reason for the fasting of the Manichaeans in that astronomically extracted time is also clarified. The results of the research show that December 25, which is the birth of Christ, is the most focal time of the two-day fasts of the Manichaeans, and other issues related to the fasts of the Manichaeans become meaningful with regard to this occasion.


Main Subjects

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