Ash Wednesday is a strange religious day, but of most importance. Can occur between February 10 th. and latest March 11 th. It is the start of Lent, the period between Ash Wednesday and Holy Thursday, 44 days before Easter, a period of 40 days of fasting. (The 4 Sundays are not counting).
While Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation, all Roman Catholics are encouraged to attend Mass on this day in order to mark the beginning of the Lenten season.
The Ash comes from the Palm Leaves from Palm Sunday, collected, dried, burned, sprinkled with Holy Water or Holy Oils, made to wet paste, and a dot or a Cross in the forehead is a sign of mourning or Repentance. Reminding everybody of our fragile life and relative short time on this blessed earth. Thereby” From dust to dust”.
First day of Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after spring solstice.
The day before is Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, Carnival in Rio, the last day of celebration before the period of fasting. Most Christendom celebrate this event.
The traditional carnival celebrations which precede Lent in many cultures have become associated with the season of fasting if only because they are a last opportunity for excess before Lent begins. The most famous pre-Lenten carnival in the world is celebrated in Rio de Janeiro; other famous Carnivals are held inTrinidad & Tobago, Venice, Cologne, Mobile, AL and New Orleans. It is known by the name Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday.
Fasting and abstinence from meats for everyone over 18 and under 65. I might have a roast leg of lamb with good conscience, and abstain from what ?