The Feast of the Dormition is preceded by a two-week
fast, referred to as the Dormition Fast. From August 1 to August 14 (inclusive)
Orthodox and Eastern Catholics fast from
dairy products (eggs and milk products), fish, oil, and wine. The Dormition Fast is a stricter fast than either the
Nativity Fast (Advent) or the
Apostles' Fast, with only wine and oil (but no fish) allowed on weekends. As with the other Fasts of the Church year, there is a
Great Feast that falls during the Fast; in this case, the
Transfiguration (August 6), on which fish, wine and oil are allowed.
In some places, the services on weekdays during the Fast are similar to the services during
Great Lent (with some variations). Many churches and monasteries in the Russian tradition perform the lenten services on at least the first day of the Dormition Fast. In the Greek tradition, during the Fast either the Great
Canon) or the Small Paraklesis is celebrated every evening except Saturday evening and the Eves of the Transfiguration and the Dormition.
The first day of the Dormition Fast is a
feast day called the
Procession of the Cross (August 1), on which day it is customary to have an
outdoor procession and perform the
Lesser Blessing of Water. In Eastern Orthodoxy it is also the day of the Holy Seven Maccabees, Martyrs Abimus, Antonius, Gurias, Eleazar, Eusebonus, Alimus, and Marcellus, their mother Solomonia, and their teacher Eleazar. Therefore the day is sometimes referred to as "Makovei". Finally it is also considered the First of the three "Feasts of the Saviour" in August, the Feast to the All-Merciful Saviour and the Most Holy Mother of God.