• (noun): A day on which fasting is observed; specifically, a day appointed for fasting as a religious observance by some recognized authority, ecclesiastical or civil; in the most restricted ecclesiastical sense, a day on which, or on part of which, total abstinence from food is prescribed, in contradistinction to a day on which a limitation is imposed on the kind or quantity of food to be taken, called a day of abstinence. See fast, n.
  • (noun): In Scotland, a day set apart for humiliation and prayer; specifically, a day thus observed during the week immediately preceding certain celebrations of the Lord's supper.

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Fast Day was a holiday observed in some parts of the United States between 1670 and 1991.
\"A day of public fasting and prayer,\" it was traditionally observed in the New England states. It had its origin in days of prayer and repentance proclaimed in the early days of the American colonies by Royal Governors, often before the spring planting (cf. Rogation Days). It was observed by church attendance, fasting, and abstinence from secular activities. The earliest known fast day was proclaimed in Boston on September 8, 1670.
Fast day had lost its significance as a religious holiday by the late 19th century. It was abolished by Massachusetts in 1894 (being replaced with Patriots' Day) and shortly thereafter by Maine, which also adopted Patriots' Day. It continued in New Hampshire until 1991, signifying only the opening of the summer tourist season; the April holiday was dropped and replaced with the January Civil Rights Day in 1991, and then in 1999, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Example Sentences

  • Another time, when my aunt again asked for fast-day food they answered: "Why, citoyenne, don't you know what has taken place? none but fools believe all that."

  • He intimated hopes of future reward, and of instant reimbursement for loss of time, and even of character, by travelling on the state business on the fast-day.

  • For us, senor, every day is fast-day — only without the fish.

  • This being fast-day, Dr. Freind and I went into the City to dine late, like good fasters.

  • This was a fast-day for the public; so I dined late with Sir Matthew Dudley, whom I have not been with a great while.

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