What is a 40 Day Feast?


Sep 25, 2009

Ann asked elder Nicholas Tucker to explain the Yup’ik custom to honor and remember a recently lost loved one.

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The 40 day feast is fairly new and isn’t our Yup’ik traditional feast. It is a Russian Orthodox Catholic tradition that the villages picked up. It is based on our Lord’s Ascension into heaven, forty days after Easter. It is a wonderful tradition that has been incorporated into our tradition. After all, Yup’iks have always believed in life after death, and even before Christianity, we believed in a place where there was no longer suffering, thirst and hunger; the other place was where you were forever hunger and thirsty. So, it made sense to incorporate this Christian truth into our tradition.