This is a question that most Catholics debate with every year, as the 40-day period begins, that will culminate in Easter. The question, of course is:
Can you eat meat on ash wednesday?
And the answer, of course is…. yes and no. You see, the idea behind Ash Wednesday is inviting believers to do a bit of fasting, in preparation for the upcoming holidays. This doesn’t necessarily imply that true Catholics must decisively starve themselves at this time of the year, but it does mean they should make a conscious effort to eat foods they don’t usually like (as a sign of penitence). In other words, if you don’t much enjoy eating meat, it’s not so wrong eating it on Ash Wednesday.
In the same way, some people assume it’s OK eating any kind of fish as substitute for meat. Well, it’s not really much of a sacrifice if you keep yourself from munching a delicious beef, and instead engorge yourself with a big lobster, right? Again, the whole idea is doing a bit of sacrifice in tribute to the extreme hardships experienced by Jesus Christ. If you keep this in mind, it’s not really important whether you eat meat or fish in Ash Wednesday… just as long as you don’t eat something that you really like.
Needless to say, you should also eat a little bit less than usual today, in the spirit of sacrifice. Hope this helps!
For more information, visit these external resources. On a related topic, here’s another question that many people wonder about in this day:
Is Ash Wednesday a Holy Day of Obligation?
The answer is… not really. Ash Wednesday isn’t a religious holiday, in the usual sense. It means that catholics aren’t required to attend a mass today (even though they should). If there’s any obligation you should be concerned with today, as a Catholic… that’s abstinence and fasting. You are expected to keep yourself from indulging carnal pleasures of any kind today (even eating foods you love), and if you’re a healthy adult, you should just have one meal in Ash Wednesday (or two very light meals).