On the ninth day of March the Church venerates the venerable Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. Their feast is placed deliberately during the Great Fast because their example is as a light to us, like that of St Lucy during Advent, in the time of trial. There is a pious custom of baking pastries shaped like larks on this day because it is said in tradition that the song of the lark rises from the doors of night and pours its voice among the stars, greeting the sun of spring beyond the walls of the world, and releasing the bonds of winter. In token of this, here's one I got this morning.
All ye holy martyrs, pray for us.